Democratic Republic of the Congo

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The flag and emblem of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are shown above

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, drawing it’s name from the ancient Congo, is a giant country, lying in the heart of the continent, adjacent to the source of the Nile Lake Victoria, bisected by the Equator and wrapped by the Congo River, one of the largest in the world.

The Congo River is the 2nd largest by volume discharge in the world, after the Amazon.1

The river is the deepest in the world, crosses the equator twice in its circuitous course from the highlands to the Atlantic ocean.

European explorations were conducted in the 1870s by Henry Morton Stanley sponsored by the King Leopold of Belgium. At the Berlin Conference, 1885, King Leopold acquired rights to the Congo River basin region and began to develop it as his personal resort. naming it the Congo Free State. Until 1908, Leopold forced the inhabitants to produce rubber, during which time, it is estimated that millions died. In 1908, the country Belgium formally annexed the region naming it the Belgian Congo.

Independence was achieved June 30, 1960, under the name Republic of the Congo. November 25, 1965, Mobuto came to power through a coup d’etat and, in 1971, renamed the country Zaire.

The 1st and 2nd Congo Wars …

Trouble in the East escalated during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and in 1996, Rwandan Tutsis invaded Congo commencing the 1st Congo War. May 17, 1997, upon Mobutu’s flight to Morocco, A Tutsi became President and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Congo. Continuing disharmonies led to a renewed outbreak of war in 1998. The 2nd Congo War, as it became known, lasted until 2003 and took over 5 million lives and left the country devastated.

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Democratic Republic of the Congo 1 Franc 1997 1 centime banknote back (2), featuring Nyiragongo volcano and arabic coffee

Democratic Republic of the Congo – 1997

Congo 1 Centime Banknote, Year 1997 – Face and Back
Congo 1 Centime Banknote, Year 1997 back, featuring Nyiragongo volcano and arabic coffee
Congo banknote, 1997, back, 1 centime
Congo 1 Centime Banknote, Year 1997 front, featuring coffee harvesters

Congo banknote, 1997, front, 1 centime. The coffee harvesters are featured on the front of this banknote from the Congo.
democratic republic of congo 20 francs banknote back, year 2003, featuring lioness and 2 cubs

Democratic Republic of the Congo – 20 Francs – Year 2003

The Democratic Republic of the Congo 20 Francs Year 2003 Banknote – Front and Back
Democratic republic of the Congo 20 francs banknote 2003 front featuring male lion
Central African Republic

The majestic profile announces the featured subject of our banknote, The Lion Family.

Kundelungu is a National park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo established in 1970.

Democratic republic of the Congo 20 francs banknote 2003 front featuring lioness with 2 cubs
Central African Republic

Kundelungu National Park is mentioned on the face of our banknote, captioned beneath the lioness and her cubs.  Kundelungu National Park was constituted in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the southeastern sector, near to southern border with Zambia.

The Congo Lion has been proposed as a lion subspecies, but is not so accepted at this time.  Lions range in DR Congo, Uganda and Burundi, and the region is considered a potential stronghold for lions if the poaching can be stopped.  Presently, lion populations are considered stable in only a few remaining reagions in Botswana and Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Lions are suffering from poaching and diminishing habitat.