Congo, Democratic Republic of the facts on every entity in the world

Established as an official Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA. He renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by a second insurrection again backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Angola, Chad, Namibia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe intervened to support KABILA's regime. In January 2001, KABILA was assassinated and his son, Joseph KABILA, was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying the eastern DRC; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. A transitional government was set up in July 2003; it held a successful constitutional referendum in December 2005 and elections for the presidency, National Assembly, and provincial legislatures took place in 2006.

In 2009, following a resurgence of conflict in the eastern DRC, the government signed a peace agreement with the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), a primarily Tutsi rebel group. An attempt to integrate CNDP members into the Congolese military failed, prompting their defection in 2012 and the formation of the M23 armed group - named after the 23 March 2009 peace agreements. Renewed conflict led to large population displacements and significant human rights abuses before the M23 was pushed out of DRC to Uganda and Rwanda in late 2013 by a joint DRC and UN offensive. In addition, the DRC continues to experience violence committed by other armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Allied Democratic Forces, and assorted Mai Mai militias. In the most recent national elections, held in November 2011, disputed results allowed Joseph KABILA to be reelected to the presidency; the next presidential election is scheduled for 2016.



Central Africa, northeast of Angola

Geographic coordinates

0.00° N, 25.00° E

Area 11/257

total: 2,344,858 sq km

land: 2,267,048 sq km

water: 77,810 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US

Land boundaries

total: 10,481 km

border countries (9): Angola 2,646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1,747 km, Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2,332 km


37 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: since 2011 the DRC has a Common Interest Zone agreement with Angola for the mutual development of off-shore resources


tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator - wet season (April to October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator - wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)


vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m

Natural resources

cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber

Land use

agricultural land: 11.4%

arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 8%

forest: 67.9%

other: 20.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

110 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

1,283 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 0.68 cu km/yr (68%/21%/11%)

per capita: 11.25 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley

volcanism: Nyiragongo (elev. 3,470 m), which erupted in 2002 and is experiencing ongoing activity, poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people; the volcano produces unusually fast-moving lava, known to travel up to 100 km /hr; Nyiragongo has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; its neighbor, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa's most active volcano; Visoke is the only other historically active volcano

Environment - current issues

poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; refugees responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching; mining of minerals (coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors, diamonds, and gold) causing environmental damage

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Geography - note

second largest country in Africa (after Algeria) and largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa; straddles the equator; has narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River and is only outlet to South Atlantic Ocean; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands

People and Society


noun: Congolese (singular and plural)

adjective: Congolese or Congo

Ethnic groups

over 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) make up about 45% of the population


French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba


Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant 20%, Kimbanguist 10%, Muslim 10%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 10%

Population 20/238


note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 42.65% (male 17,061,640/female 16,793,575)

15-24 years: 21.41% (male 8,522,085/female 8,474,212)

25-54 years: 29.75% (male 11,783,887/female 11,829,078)

55-64 years: 3.56% (male 1,329,384/female 1,495,329)

65 years and over: 2.63% (male 879,823/female 1,206,123) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 95.9%

youth dependency ratio: 90.1%

elderly dependency ratio: 5.8%

potential support ratio: 17.2% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 18.1 years

male: 17.9 years

female: 18.4 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 26/233

2.45% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 23/224

34.88 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 43/225

10.07 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 123/222

-0.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 42.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.96% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

KINSHASA (capital) 11.587 million; Lubumbashi 2.015 million; Mbuji-Mayi 20.007 million; Kananga 1.169 million; Kisangani 1.04 million; Bukavu 832,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth


note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013/14 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 17/184

693 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 12/224

total: 71.47 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 75.07 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 67.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 206/224

total population: 56.93 years

male: 55.39 years

female: 58.51 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 23/224

4.66 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

17.7% (2010)

Health expenditures 123/191

3.5% of GDP (2013)

Hospital bed density

0.8 beds/1,000 population (2006)

Drinking water source


urban: 81.1% of population

rural: 31.2% of population

total: 52.4% of population


urban: 18.9% of population

rural: 68.8% of population

total: 47.6% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 28.5% of population

rural: 28.7% of population

total: 28.7% of population


urban: 71.5% of population

rural: 71.3% of population

total: 71.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

1.04% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

446,600 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

24,100 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 185/191

3.7% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 25/138

23.4% (2014)

Education expenditures 157/173

1.6% of GDP (2010)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 11 years

female: 8 years (2012)


Country name

conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo

conventional short form: DRC

local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo

local short form: RDC

former: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire

abbreviation: DRC

Government type



name: Kinshasa

geographic coordinates: 4.19° S, 15.18° E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

26 provinces (provinces, singular - province) and 1 city* (ville); Bandundu, Bas-Uele, Equateur, Haut-Katanga, Haut-Lomami, Haut-Uele, Ituri, Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Occidental (West Kasai), Kasai-Oriental, Kinshasa*, Katanga, Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Lomami, Lualaba, Mai-Ndombe, Mongala, Nord-Ubangi, Orientale, Sankuru, Sud-Ubangi, Tanganyika, Tshopo, Tshuapa


30 June 1960 (from Belgium)

National holiday

Independence Day, 30 June (1960)


several previous; latest adopted 13 May 2005, approved by referendum 18-19 December 2005, promulgated 18 February 2006; amended 2011 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system primarily based on Belgian law, but also customary, and tribal law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Joseph KABILA (since 17 January 2001)

head of government: Prime Minister Augustin MATATA PONYO Mapon (since 18 April 20)

cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be held in November 2016); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Joseph KABILA reelected president; percent of vote - Joseph KABILA (PPRD) 49%, Etienne TSHISEKEDI (UDPS) 32.3%, other 18.7%; note - election marred by serious voting irregularities

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate (108 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms) and the National Assembly (500 seats; 439 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 61 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 19 January 2007 (follow-on elections have been delayed); National Assembly - last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be held in 2016)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 22, MLC 14, FR 7, RCD 7, PDC 6, CDC 3, MSR 3, PALU 2, independent 26, other 18; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 62, UDPS 41, PPPD 29, MSR 27, MLC 22, PALU 19, UNC 17, ARC 16, AFDC 15, ECT 11, RRC 11, independent 16, other 214 (includes numerous political parties that won 10 or fewer seats and 2 constituencies where voting was halted); note - the November 2011 election was marred by violence including the destruction of ballots in two constituencies resulting in the closure of polling sites; election results were delayed three months, strongly contested, and continue to be unresolved

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (organized into legislative and judiciary sections and consists of 26 justices); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Justice judges nominated by the Judicial Service Council, an independent body of public prosecutors and selected judges of the lower courts; judges tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges - 3 nominated by the president, 3 by the Judicial Service Council, and 3 by the legislature; judges appointed by the president to serve 9-year non-renewable terms

subordinate courts: State Security Court; Court of Appeals (organized into administrative and judiciary sections); Tribunal de Grande; magistrates' courts; customary courts

Political parties and leaders

Christian Democrat Party or PDC [Jose ENDUNDO]

Congolese Rally for Democracy or RCD [Azarias RUBERWA]

Convention of Christian Democrats or CDC

Forces of Renewal or FR [Mbusa NYAMWISI]

Movement for the Liberation of the Congo or MLC [Jean-Pierre BEMBA]

People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy or PPRD [Henri MOVA]

Social Movement for Renewal or MSR [Pierre LUMBI]

Unified Lumumbist Party or PALU [Antoine GIZENGA]

Union for the Congolese Nation or UNC [Vital KAMERHE]

Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Etienne TSHISEKEDI]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Allied Democratic Forces or ADF (anti-Ugandan government rebel groups]

Forces Arm?es de la R?publique D?mocratique du Congor (Army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) or FARDC

Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda or FDLR (Rwandan militia group made up of some of the perpetrators of Rwanda's genocide in 1994)

International organization participation


Flag description

sky blue field divided diagonally from the lower hoist corner to upper fly corner by a red stripe bordered by two narrow yellow stripes; a yellow, five-pointed star appears in the upper hoist corner; blue represents peace and hope, red the blood of the country's martyrs, and yellow the country's wealth and prosperity; the star symbolizes unity and the brilliant future for the country

National symbol(s)

leopard; national colors: sky blue, red, yellow

National anthem

name: "Debout Congolaise" (Arise Congolese)

lyrics/music: Joseph LUTUMBA/Simon-Pierre BOKA di Mpasi Londi

note: adopted 1960; replaced when the country was known as Zaire; but readopted in 1997


Economy - overview

The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth - is slowly recovering after decades of decline.

Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with countrywide instability and conflict that began in the early-90s, has dramatically reduced national output and government revenue and increased external debt. With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve as the transitional government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms. Progress has been slow to reach the interior of the country although clear changes are evident in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi.

Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, has boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth in recent years, although recent commodity price declines threaten to erase progress. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the large mining sector and for the economy as a whole.

The country marked its thirteenth consecutive year of positive economic expansion in 2015. Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data. The DRC signed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility with the IMF in 2009 and received $12 billion in multilateral and bilateral debt relief in 2010, but the IMF at the end of 2012 suspended the last three payments under the loan facility - worth $240 million - because of concerns about the lack of transparency in mining contracts. In 2012, the DRC updated its business laws by adhering to OHADA, the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 101/230

$63.27 billion (2015 est.)

$58.34 billion (2014 est.)

$53.44 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$39.06 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 8/225

8.4% (2015 est.)

9.2% (2014 est.)

8.5% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 226/230

$800 (2015 est.)

$700 (2014 est.)

$700 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 166/179

4.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

6.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

4.7% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 68.8%

government consumption: 13.4%

investment in fixed capital: 21.5%

investment in inventories: 0.1%

exports of goods and services: 29.6%

imports of goods and services: -33.4%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 20.3%

industry: 33.5%

services: 46.2% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products


mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate 13/202

8.7% (2015 est.)

Labor force 24/233

28.58 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Unemployment rate


Population below poverty line

63% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 34.7% (2006)


revenues: $6.084 billion

expenditures: $6.819 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 189/219

15.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 68/220

-1.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 149/176

22.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

21.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 71/226

1.1% (2015 est.)

1.3% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 98/156

4% (31 December 2012)

20% (31 December 2011)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 14/184

19% (31 December 2015 est.)

18.69% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 142/192

$1.386 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.284 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 131/193

$5.018 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$4.402 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 131/191

$2.892 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.607 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance 157/197

-$2.984 billion (2015 est.)

-$3.291 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 82/224

$12.4 billion (2015 est.)

$12.98 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee

Exports - partners

China 39.3%, Zambia 24.7%, Italy 8.6%, Belgium 4.4% (2014)

Imports 90/223

$12.34 billion (2015 est.)

$11.98 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels

Imports - partners

China 19.6%, South Africa 17.9%, Zambia 15.9%, Belgium 6.1%, Zimbabwe 4.9% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 125/170

$1.443 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.557 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 122/206

$6.562 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$6.082 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

Congolese francs (CDF) per US dollar -

927 (2015 est.)

925.23 (2014 est.)

925.23 (2013 est.)

920.25 (2012 est.)

899 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 103/220

7.885 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 102/219

7.292 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 120/218

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 130/219

0 kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 98/214

2.506 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 209/214

1.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 66/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 6/214

98.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 167/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 70/214

20,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 59/214

20,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 172/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 61/215

180 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 166/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 129/212

20,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 166/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 110/213

20,620 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 170/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 129/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 77/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 177/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 104/212

991.1 million cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 145/212

2.481 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 217/219

total subscriptions: 0

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 34/217

total: 37.1 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: barely adequate wire and microwave radio relay service in and between urban areas; domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations; inadequate fixed-line infrastructure

domestic: state-owned operator providing less than 1 fixed-line connection per 100 persons; given the backdrop of a wholly inadequate fixed-line infrastructure, the use of mobile-cellular services has surged and mobile teledensity is roughly 20 per 100 persons

international: country code - 243; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

state-owned TV broadcast station with near national coverage; more than a dozen privately owned TV stations - 2 with near national coverage; 2 state-owned radio stations are supplemented by more than 100 private radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 3, FM 11, shortwave 2 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

4 (2001)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 159/232

2,515 (2012)

Internet users 143/217

total: 290,000

percent of population: less than 1% (2008)


Airports 27/236

198 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 26

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 17

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 172

1,524 to 2,437 m: 20

914 to 1,523 m: 87

under 914 m: 65 (2013)


1 (2013)


gas 62 km; oil 77 km; refined products 756 km (2013)

Railways 44/136

total: 4,007 km

narrow gauge: 3,882 km 1.067-m gauge (858 km electrified); 125 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 32/223

total: 153,497 km

paved: 2,794 km

unpaved: 150,703 km (2004)

Waterways 8/107

15,000 km (including the Congo, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes) (2011)

Merchant marine 147/156

total: 1

by type: petroleum tanker 1

foreign-owned: 1 (Republic of the Congo 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Banana

river or lake port(s): Boma, Bumba, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka (Congo); Kindu (Lualaba); Bukavu, Goma (Lake Kivu); Kalemie (Lake Tanganyika)

Military and Security

Military branches

Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Forces d'Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo, FARDC): Army, National Navy (La Marine Nationale), Congolese Air Force (Force Aerienne Congolaise, FAC) (2011)

Military service age and obligation

18-45 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (2012)

Military expenditures 49/132

1.72% of GDP (2012)

1.53% of GDP (2011)

1.72% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

heads of the Great Lakes states and UN pledged in 2004 to abate tribal, rebel, and militia fighting in the region, including northeast Congo, where the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), organized in 1999, maintains over 16,500 uniformed peacekeepers; members of Uganda's Lords Resistance Army forces continue to seek refuge in Congo's Garamba National Park as peace talks with the Uganda government evolve; the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area; Uganda and DRC dispute Rukwanzi Island in Lake Albert and other areas on the Semliki River with hydrocarbon potential; boundary commission continues discussions over Congolese-administered triangle of land on the right bank of the Lunkinda River claimed by Zambia near the DRC village of Pweto; DRC accuses Angola of shifting monuments

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 38,028 (Rwanda) (2014); 98,281 (Central African Republic); 27,699 (Burundi) (2015)

IDPs: 1,491,769 (fighting between government forces and rebels since mid-1990s; most IDPs are in eastern provinces) (2015)

Illicit drugs

one of Africa's biggest producers of cannabis, but mostly for domestic consumption; traffickers exploit lax shipping controls to transit pseudoephedrine through the capital; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center (2008)