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Belgian Congo

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The Belgian Congo was a colony in the central portion of Africa, run by Belgium from the late 1800s until 1919. Its territory consisted of the modern day nation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and contained much of the Congo River watershed and rain forests.

From 1885 to 1908, the land was the personal property of Leopold II, king of Belgium. He had obtained the land through treaties with various tribal leaders, and had pressured the international community to recognize his claim. He used the land as a source of personal income, leasing land and mining rights to European colonists. However, a number of atrocities committed by his officials led to the territory being turned from his personal property to a Belgian colony in 1908. In 1960, the colony became independent, but underwent political upheaval, leading to General Mobuto seizing power and running the country (which he renamed Zaire) from 1965 to 1997, when he was forced out in a civil war. The nation is currently called the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

During the colonial era, the Force Publique served as both police and military for the colony.

Notable CongoleseEdit

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