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Leopold formally acquired rights to the Congo territory at the Conference of Berlin in 1885 and made the land his private property, naming it the Congo Free State.
Tensions between President Kabila and the Rwandan and Tutsi presence in the country led to the Second Congo War from 1998 to 2003.
Ultimately, nine African countries and around twenty armed groups became involved in the war, The two wars devastated the country.
Bantu peoples began migrating into the region in the 5th century and again in the 10th century.
In the West of the region, the Kingdom of Kongo ruled from the 14th to 19th centuries, while in the centre and East of the region, the kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century.
The 10th century marked the final expansion of the Bantu in West-Central Africa.
By the early 1990s, Mobutu's government began to weaken.Disenfranchisement among the eastern Congolese Tutsi population led to a 1996 invasion led by Tutsi-ruled Rwanda, which began the First Congo War. On , Laurent-Désiré Kabila, a leader of Tutsi forces from the province of South Kivu, became President, reverting the country's name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It is the second-largest country in Africa (largest in Sub-Saharan Africa) by area and 11th largest in the world.President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards on 16 January 2001 and was succeeded eight days later as President by his son Joseph.The Democratic Republic of Congo is extremely rich in natural resources but has had political instability, a lack of infrastructure, issues with corruption and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development.The Belgian Congo achieved independence on 30 June 1960 under the name Republic of the Congo.Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was elected the first Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasa-Vubu became the first President.In the 1870s, just before the onset of the Scramble for Africa, European exploration of the Congo was carried out, first led by Henry Morton Stanley under the sponsorship of King Leopold II of Belgium.