Stretching 2,914 miles long, the Congo River is the eighth longest river in the world and the second longest river in Africa after the Nile. The Congo River flows primarily between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Republic of the Congo (ROC). The Congo River forms in the most southern part of the DRC at the meeting point of the Lualaba and Luvua Rivers. The Congo’s many tributaries drain approximately 1,600,000 square miles into Central Africa, making the Congo River the region’s primary source of transportation. The major tributaries of the Congo are the Ubangi, Aruwimi, Kasai, and Lomami Rivers. The DRC is the second largest country in Africa. Since 1960, when it gained independence from Belgium, the country has experienced many difficulties. It has had to deal with everything from dictators to armed conflicts along with many territorial battles with its neighbors. The African World War was fought in the DRC 1997 until 2003. As nine African countries battled for the DRC’s resources, more than five million Congolese people were killed. The DRC’ president was assassinated in 2001 at which time a United Nations peacekeeping mission was sent to assist the country. With the United Nations’ assistance, a transitional was put in place in 2003. The DRC faces many challenges include keeping peace within the country and with its nine bordering nations, shoring up inadequate infrastructure and human resources, improving the government’s ability to maintain its authority, combatting widespread corruption, and finding ways to raise and manage its money. The Republic of the Congo (ROC) gained independence in 1960 from France at which time it became a Marxist country. In 1992, its first democratically ele...
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...e is also the chance that because so many resources will go towards the Inga project, other projects that would be more beneficial to the majority of the Congolese people will fall by the wayside.
The Congo River is a vital resource to the people of the DRC and the ROC. Hopefully these countries will remain peaceful so that the many people who rely on the river will be able to count on it for their livelihoods and even survival. Mining companies should be made accountable for their use of water resources and for the river contamination the mining causes. Plans to fully harness the river in the near future if combined with key infrastructure improvements, may give many Congolese people a new chance to have safe drinking water. It is only with this type of effort that the Congo River will truly live up to its reputation as one of the mighty rivers of the world.
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