World Country Congo

About the world country Congo, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: On the west coast of central Africa, between Gabon and Cabinda (Angola). Size: 132,046 sq. mi. (342,000 sq. km.). Population: 1,608,000 (48% Bakongo, 20% Bateke).

Who Really Rules: The Congo is ruled by the leftist Congo Labor party (PCT), the sole legal party. President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, a leader of the PCT's left wing, eased aside his predecessor, Joachim Yhombi-Opango, in early 1979. Later that year, the government declared an amnesty for all political prisoners except Yhombi-Opango, who remained under house arrest, and the PCT took a number of steps to increase its ethnic and regional base.

In April, 1979, the government came to terms with foreign financial interests by signing a standby agreement pledging domestic austerity with the International Monetary Fund. Though the Congo considers itself the first Marxist-Leninist regime in Africa (since 1963), it permits private commerce. In fact, the economic climate in the Congo is so much freer than in neighboring "capitalist" Zaire that diamond exporters from Zaire prefer to smuggle their gems out through the Congo. Consequently, the Congo is a leading exporter of diamonds although it has no known deposits.

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