Congo, The Democratic Republic of the stamps

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Congo is a name shared by two neighboring countries in Central Africa, usually distinguished either by using their full official names or adding their capitals:

·         The Republic of the Congo is often known as "Congo-Brazzaville". It is the smaller of the two and lies to the west. It was once a French colony and part of French Equatorial Africa.

·         The Democratic Republic of the Congo is sometimes known as "Congo-Kinshasa" or simply DRC.  It is the larger of the two and lies to the east. It was once the personal property of King Leopold II of Belgium, when it was known as the Congo Free State, and later a Belgian colony when it was renamed the Belgian Congo. It was named Zaire from 1971 to 1997. (


The Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) is a nation in central Africa and the third largest country on the continent. It borders the Central African Republic and Sudan on the north, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania on the east, Zambia and Angola on the south, and the Republic of the Congo on the west. The country enjoys access to the sea through a narrow forty kilometre stretch, following the Congo river into the Gulf of Guinea. The name Congo (meaning "hunter") is coined after the Bakongo tribe, living in the Congo river basin. Formerly, the Belgian colony of the Belgian Congo, the country's post-independence name was changed in 1971, from Congo-Kinshasa (after its capital, to distinguish it from the Republic of Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville) to Zaire, until 1997. Since 1998, the country has suffered greatly from the devastating Second Congo War (known also as the African World War), the deadliest conflict since World War II.

See also: Zaire

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Issued: 08.02.2005

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Congo (DR) #323 for Micronesia

Congo (Dem Rep) #414 for Mozambique

Congo Democratic Rep. #518 for Central Africa Rep.

Congo C179 for Guinea

[The 50th Anniversary (2006) of the First EUROPA Stamps, type ]

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For Belgian Congo see: Zaire