The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Africa's second-largest country, borders nine nations. It boasts a diverse cultural landscape with over 200 ethnic groups and nearly 250 languages. Its capital, Kinshasa, is a major French-speaking city.
The country has experienced more than two decades of intense conflict, causing over 5.4 million deaths. This makes it the deadliest conflict since World War II. This tumultuous history includes notorious child soldier recruitments.
The treasured Virunga National Park, home to diverse wildlife, faces endangerment from oil explorations. Despite being rich in minerals like gold and tantalum, the DRC continues to grapple with widespread poverty.
Recently, tensions have intensified due to the displacement of a record 6.9 million people resulting from escalating violence. This has led to calls for the withdrawal of regional and U.N. peacekeeping forces.