Zaire: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the country Zaire.



Location--In south-central Africa; west is the Congo; north the Central African Republic and the Sudan; east Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania; southeast is Zambia; and southwest is Angola. Zaire puts out a skinny leg to the Atlantic where it has a 20-mi. coastline.

How Created--Former Belgian Congo whose frontiers emerged from the consent of the neighboring colonial powers of Britain, France, and Portugal. Won freedom from Belgium in 1960, temporarily lost Katanga Province, but was reunited with it in 1964.

Size--905,365 sq. mi. (2,344,885 sq. km.), 77 times the size of its former colonial master and equal to that 3rd of the U.S. which is east of the Mississippi.

Population--25 million: Luba, 17.7%; Mongo (including Totela), 16.9%; Kongo, 12.1%; Rwanda, 10%; about 200 other groups, 43.2%. 50% Animist, 50% Christian.

Who Rules--The current President, Mobuto Sese Seko, is Head of State and Government by way of coup d'etat in 1965. The 1967 constitution theoretically provides for a 420-member National Assembly.

Who REALLY Rules--Head of State and Government does pretty much what he wants while the National Assembly nods. The remnants of the old mining companies, now somewhat controlled by the Government, still wield some power.

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