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A virtual guide to the Republic of the Congo, also known as the Congo Republic, Congo-Brazzaville or just Congo. The country was until independence in 1960 part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa.

The country is located in the central-western part of sub-Saharan Africa along the Equator, it has a short (170 km) coastline at the South Atlantic Ocean. Congo is bordered by Angola (the enclave of Cabinda), Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo(Kinshasa), and Gabon.

With an area of 342,000 km², the country is slightly smaller than Germany, or slightly smaller than the US state of Montana. Congo-Brazzaville has a population of about 4 million people. The capital and largest city are Brazzaville, the city is located on the Congo River, in the south of the country, across Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of the Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter-century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government was installed in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President SASSOU-NGUESSO but ushered in a period of ethnic unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003, but the calm is tenuous and refugees continue to present a humanitarian crisis. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers with significant potential for offshore development.

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Official Name:
République du Congo
Short form: Congo

Local Time = UTC +1h
Country Calling Code: +242

Capital City: Brazzaville (pop. 1 million)
Other Cities: Pointe-Noire (450 000), Dolisie (150 000), Djambala, Ewo, Impfondo, Madingou, Ouésso, Owando, Sibiti.

Type: Republic.
Independence: 15 August 1960 (from France).
Constitution: New constitution was adopted in a nationwide referendum on 20 January 2002.

Location: Astride the Equator in west-central Africa, west of the Congo and Oubangui (Ubangi) rivers.
Area: 342,000 km² (132,000 sq. mi.)
Terrain: North-East: two-thirds of the country is covered by equatorial forest, savanna in the south, coastal plains, fertile valleys, forested flood plains.

Climate: Tropical. (climate is equatorial with two reversed seasons--half of the country lies above, half below the Equator).