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Congo, Democratic Republic of the Geography 1999

    Location: Central Africa, northeast of Angola

    Geographic coordinates: 0 00 N, 25 00 E

    Map references: Africa

    total: 2,345,410 sq km
    land: 2,267,600 sq km
    water: 77,810 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US

    Land boundaries:
    total: 10,271 km
    border countries: Angola 2,511 km, Burundi 233 km, Central African Republic 1,577 km, Republic of the Congo 2,410 km, Rwanda 217 km, Sudan 628 km, Uganda 765 km, Zambia 1,930 km

    Coastline: 37 km

    Maritime claims:
    exclusive economic zone: boundaries with neighbors
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: 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

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

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m

    Natural resources: cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydropower potential, timber

    Land use:
    arable land: 3%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 7%
    forests and woodland: 77%
    other: 13% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 100 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: periodic droughts in south; volcanic activity

    Environment—current issues: poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation; refugees who arrived in mid-1994 were responsible for significant deforestation, soil erosion, and wildlife poaching in the eastern part of the country (most of those refugees were repatriated in November and December 1996)

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

    Geography—note: straddles Equator; very 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

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)