Foreign relations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Its location in the center of Africa has made the Democratic Republic of the Congo (at one time known as Zaire) a key player in the region since independence; because of its size, mineral wealth, and strategic location, Zaire was able to capitalize on Cold War tensions to garner support from the West. In the early 1990s, however, with the end of the Cold War and in the face of growing evidence of human rights abuses, Western support waned as pressure for internal reform increased.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the grip of a civil war that has drawn in military forces from neighboring states, with Ugandan, Burundian, and Rwandan forces helping the rebel movement which occupies much of the eastern portion of the state.

One problem is the continuing theft of mineral resources, such as coltan, by occupying forces. One estimate has the Rwandan army making $350 million in 48 months from the sale of coltan, even though Rwanda has no coltan deposits[citation needed]. Not only can the DRC not make any money from its mineral wealth, due to its inability to tax anything in rebel-held areas, but the wealth is also used itself to finance insurgent activities.

Troops from Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Sudan support the Kinshasa regime.

Furthermore, relations with surrounding countries have often been driven by security concerns. Intricate and interlocking alliances have often characterized regional relations. Conflicts in Sudan, Uganda, Angola, Rwanda, and Burundi have at various times created bilateral and regional tensions; the current crisis in DRC has its roots both in the use of The Congo as a base by various insurgency groups attacking neighboring countries and in the absence of a broad-based political system in the Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is also a member of the International Criminal Court with a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of protection for the U.S.-military (as covered under Article 98).

Disputes – international[edit]

Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the grip of a civil war that has drawn in military forces from neighboring states, with Uganda and Rwanda supporting the rebel movements that occupy much of the eastern portion of the state – Tutsi, Hutu, Lendu, Hema and other conflicting ethnic groups, political rebels, and various government forces continue fighting in Great Lakes region, transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda – heads of the Great Lakes states pledge to end conflict, but localized violence continues despite UN peacekeeping efforts; most of the Congo River boundary with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite (no agreement has been reached on the division of the river or its islands, except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area).

On December 19, 2005, the International Court of Justice found against Uganda, in a case brought by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for illegal invasion of its territory, and violation of human rights.

Illicit drugs[edit]

The DRC has some illicit production of cannabis, mostly for domestic consumption. While rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leaves the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center.

Bilateral relations[edit]

Africa[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Algeria
 Angola See Angola–Democratic Republic of the Congo relations
  • Angola has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Luanda.
 Burundi
  • Burundi has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Bujumbura.
 Central African Republic
  • CAR has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Bangui.
 Chad
  • Chad has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in N'Djamena and a consulate in Moundou.
 Côte d'Ivoire
  • Côte d'Ivoire has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Abidjan.
 Egypt
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Cairo.
  • Egypt has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Republic of the Congo See Democratic Republic of the Congo–Republic of the Congo relations
  • Congo has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Brazzaville.
 Kenya See Democratic Republic of the Congo–Kenya relations
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Nairobi.
  • Kenya has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Namibia See Democratic Republic of the Congo-Namibia relations
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Windhoek.
  • Namibia has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Nigeria
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Abuja.
  • Nigeria has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Rwanda

Rwandan President Paul Kagame met with the Democratic Republic of the Congo's President Joseph Kabila in Goma on 6 August 2009,[1] it was the first presidential meeting between the two countries for 13 years,[2] with the two countries having come to a disagreement in 1996 following an invasion by Rwanda into eastern Congo, a disagreement which was renewed in 1998 after a further invasion.[1] The pair of presidents spent more than two hours in the company of each other and "reviewed all issues of common interest".[1] Kabila referred to it as "the first giant step forward" in what was referred to as an "all new era".[2] One month previous to the meeting both countries had appointed ambassadors to each other's capitals.[1][2]

In August 2013, Rwanda accused Congolese forces of persistently shelling Congo’s territory after a flare-up of fighting in the eastern Congo.[3]

  • DR Congo has an embassy in Kigali.
  • Rwanda has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Senegal
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Dakar.
  • Senegal has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 South Africa
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Pretoria.
  • South Africa has an embassy in Kinshasa and a consulate-general in Lubumbashi.
 Tanzania
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Dar es Salaam and a consulate-general in Kigoma.
  • Tanzania has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Uganda
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Kampala.
  • Uganda has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Zambia
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Lusaka.
  • Zambia has an embassy in Kinshasa.


Americas[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Argentina
  • Argentina is accredited to the DR Congo from its embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Buenos Aires.
 Brazil
  • Brazil has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Brasilia.
 Canada 1965 See Canada–Democratic Republic of the Congo relations

Formal diplomatic ties between the two countries were established in 1965.[4] Canada and the D.R. Congo share full membership in Francophonie. Canada was the D.R. Congo's ninth-largest country donor of official development assistance over 1960-2009, disbursing a total of US$0.89 billion in constant 2008 US dollars, or 2.4% of DRC's total bilateral aid receipts.[5] In 2009, Cdn.$3.3 billion in assets were held by thirteen large-scale and junior Canadian mining companies in the DRC, a ten-fold increase from 2001.[6]

  • Canada has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Ottawa.
 Cuba
  • Cuba has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Havana.
 Mexico 31 July 1975 See Democratic Republic of the Congo–Mexico relations

Both nations established diplomatic relations on 31 July 1975.[7]

  • DR Congo does not have an accreditation to Mexico.
  • Mexico is accredited to DR Congo from its embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.[8]
 United States See Democratic Republic of the Congo-United States relations

The United States appointed its current ambassador to the D.R.C. in 2007. The D.R.C. appointed its current ambassador to the United States in 2000. The Congo has been on the State Department's travel advisory list since 1977.

 Uruguay
  • DR Congo is accredited to Uruguay from its embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Uruguay is accredited to the DR Congo from its embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.

Asia[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 10 November 2015

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 November 2015.

 China See China-Democratic Republic of the Congo relations

China is a large investor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, primarily in the secondary (manufacturing) and primary (resource extraction) markets.

  • China has an embassy in Kinshasa.
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Beijing.
 India See Democratic Republic of the Congo–India relations
 Israel
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Tel Aviv.
  • Israel is accredited to the DR Congo from its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem.
 Japan
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Tokyo.
  • Japan has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Lebanon
  • DR Congo is accredited to Lebanon from its embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Lebanon has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 South Korea 1 April 1963

Diplomatic relations were established between South Korea and the DR Congo on 1 April 1963.[13]

  • DR Congo has an embassy in Seoul.
  • South Korea has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Turkey
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Ankara.
  • Turkey has an embassy in Kinshasa.


Europe[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Belgium See Belgium–Democratic Republic of the Congo relations

As the former colonizer, Belgium and the DR Congo share a privileged relationship.

 France
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Germany
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Berlin.
  • Germany has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Greece See Democratic Republic of the Congo–Greece relations

Both countries are full members of Francophonie. In July 2009, the Greek government pledged USD 500,000 through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for humanitarian assistance to Congo.[16]

  • DR Congo has an embassy in Athens.
  • Greece has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Italy
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Rome.
  • Italy has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Netherlands
  • DR Congo has an embassy in The Hague.
  • Netherlands has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Norway See Democratic Republic of the Congo–Norway relations
  • DR Congo is accredited to Norway from its embassy in London, United Kingdom.
  • Norway is accredited to the DR Congo from its embassy in Luanda, Angola.
 Poland
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Warsaw.
  • Poland is accredited to the DR Congo from its embassy in Luanda, Angola.
 Russia See Democratic Republic of the Congo–Russia relations
 Serbia
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Belgrade.
  • Serbia has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Spain
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Madrid.
  • Spain has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Sweden
  • DR Congo has an embassy in Stockholm.
  • Sweden has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 United Kingdom See Democratic Republic of the Congo–United Kingdom relations
  • DR Congo has an embassy in London.
  • United Kingdom has an embassy in Kinshasa.


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Kagame and Kabila restore ties". IOL. 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  2. ^ a b c "'New era' for DR Congo and Rwanda". BBC. 2009-08-06. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
  3. ^ Jenny Clover (29 August 2013). "Rwanda says Congolese forces shelling its territory". Reuters.
  4. ^ Brown, J. C. Gordon. 2000. Blazes along a diplomatic trail: a memoir of four posts in the Canadian foreign service, Victoria, B.C.: Trafford, p. 158-180, http://www.google.ca/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=isbn:1552125246
  5. ^ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. "Aggregate Aid Statistics: ODA by recipient by country", OECD International Development Statistics (database). doi:10.1787/data-00061-en (accessed March 12, 2011).
  6. ^ Miron, Michel. 2010. "Africa: Cumulative Canadian Mining Assets" (calculated at acquisition, construction or fabricating costs, and includes capitalized exploration and development costs, non-controlling interests, and excludes liquid assets, cumulative depreciation, and write-off), Minerals and Metals Sector, Department of Natural Resources Canada, internal document.
  7. ^ "Mexico's relations with Africa: DR Congo (in Spanish)" (PDF). senado.gob.mx. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Embajada de México en Etiopía". embamex.sre.gob.mx (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  9. ^ "République Démocratique du Congo". ambardcusa.org. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  10. ^ "U.S. Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo". U.S. Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  11. ^ "Democratic Republic of the Congo Embassy in India". embassypages.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  12. ^ "MEA - Indian Missions Abroad - Indian Mission". mea.gov.in. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  13. ^ Korea, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of. "Countries and Regions > Middle East and Africa > List of the Countries". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  14. ^ "La Belgique en République Démocratique du Congo | Taalkeuze | Choix de langue | Sprachauswahl | Language Choice". countries.diplomatie.belgium.be. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
  15. ^ "Bienvenue sur le site de l'Ambassade de RD Congo à Bruxelles". Site Officiel de l'Ambassade de la RDCONGO près le Benelux et de l'Union Européenne. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  16. ^ http://www.ana.gr/anaweb/user/showplain?maindoc=7007015&maindocimg=7002746&service=96
  17. ^ Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kinshasa