G. SIDOROVA, Candidate of Historical Sciences Dedicated to all the Congolese people with whom I have worked and witnessed historic events. Over the past decade, the bleak picture of the tragic events in the DRC has filled the hearts of people who watched the bloody events there with pain. Long-term ethnic and political strife, which resulted in a civil war (1998-2003), depleted natural and human resources, and put the country's 60 million population on the brink of survival. The conflict reached such proportions that it became known as the "first World African War". Nowhere else in Africa has there been such a complex and intricate interweaving of internal circumstances with the intervention of external forces in the context of civil conflicts.* Some even described the situation in DR Congo as "the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our time." 1 GETTING TO KNOW THE COUNTRY The first thing that impresses when you fly over the territory of the DRC, the former Zaire, is the vast expanses of this truly gigantic country of 2.3 million square kilometers. Almost two-thirds of its landscape is made up of dense forests that hide the overgrown trails of the Stanley and Livingston pioneers. That is why the DRC is deservedly called the "lungs of the planet". Velvety mountain slopes, endless khaki savanna, stormy river flows carrying huge reserves of electricity, active volcanoes of Niaragongo and Niamulangira - all this is the land of the oldest ethnic groups, the diversity of which the DRC is not inferior, perhaps, to any African country-Congo, Lunda, luba, mongo, azande, Bangui... There are more than 400 of them here. The linguistic palette of these beautiful people, who are very sensitive to traditional culture, is also rich. The population of the DRC, with a few exceptions, belongs to the peoples who speak the Niger-Congo languages2. The official language is French. In addition, there are four national languages - Lingala, Kikongo, Chiluba and Swahili, which are used to publi ... Read more

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