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Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003, but the calm is tenuous and refugees continue to present a humanitarian crisis. The Republic of Congo was once one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.


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Geography

Location
Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon

Geographic coordinates
1 00 S, 15 00 E

Map references
Africa

Area World Ranking: 64
Total 342,000 sq km
Land 341,500 sq km
Water 500 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than Montana

Land boundaries
Total 5,504 km
Border countries
Angola 201 km, Cameroon 523 km, Central African Republic 467 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Gabon 1,903 km

Coastline
169 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 200 nm

Climate
Tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator

Terrain
Coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point Mount Berongou 903 m

Natural resources
Petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower

Land use
Arable land 1.45%
Permanent crops 0.15%
Other 98.4% (2005)

Irrigated land
20 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
832 cu km (1987)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 0.03 cu km/yr (59%/29%/12%)
Per capita 8 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
Seasonal flooding

Environment - current issues
Air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified
None of the selected agreements

Geography - note
About 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them


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  Republic Of The Congo (Brazzaville):


  GPS points from Republic Of The Congo (Brazzaville)

Kimbele Region Du Pool

Mbala Region De La Likouala

Namopoussa Region De La Sangha

Loundou Region De La Bouenza

Bitolo Region Du Niari

Mouindi Region De La Bouenza

Kouko Region De La Sangha

Lobi Region De La Cuvette




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