The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a nation in Central Africa with the South Atlantic Ocean to its west. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the 11th-largest country in the world and the second-largest in Africa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is officially the most populous officially Francophone nation in the world, with approximately 108 million people living there. Kinshasa is both the nation's economic capital and the country's largest city. The Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania (across Lake Tanganyika), Zambia, Angola, and the Cabinda exclave of Angola are the country's borders.
The territory of the DRC, which is centered on the Congo Basin, was first inhabited by Central African foragers approximately 90,000 years ago. About 3,000 years later, the Bantu expansion reached the territory. From the 14th century to the 19th century, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled in the west around the Congo River's mouth. From the 16th and 17th centuries until the 19th, the kingdoms of Azande, Luba, and Lunda ruled in the northeast, center, and east. In 1885, King Leopold II of Belgium officially acquired ownership of the Congo territory and designated it as the Congo Free State. His colonial military committed numerous atrocities against the local populace from 1885 to 1908. They made them produce rubber. Leopold gave up the land in 1908, making it a Belgian colony.
When Congo gained independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960, it was immediately confronted by a series of separatist movements that culminated in Mobutu Sese Seko's ascension to power in a coup in 1965. In 1971, Mobutu changed the country's name to Zaire and imposed a harsh personalist dictatorship until the First Congo War overthrew him in 1997. After that, the country got its name back and went through the Second Congo War, which lasted from 1998 to 2003 and killed 5.4 million people. Human rights in the country remained poor and included frequent abuses like forced disappearances, torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and restrictions on civil liberties under President Joseph Kabila, who ruled the country from 2001 to 2019. In the country's first peaceful power transition since independence, Félix Tshisekedi took over from Kabila as president following the general election in 2018. An ongoing military conflict in Kivu has been taking place in the Eastern DR Congo since 2015.