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By Joseph R. Oppong, Tania Woodruff, Charles F. Gritzner

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Extra resources for Democratic Republic of The Congo (Modern World Nations)

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They also developed a primitive but longrange commercial network that stretched all the way to the Indian Ocean. By the 1500s, the kingdom had established a strong central government based on chieftainship. The Kuba Kingdom was a federation of approximately 20 Bantu ethnic groups that emerged in southern Congo. It covered some 40,000 square miles (100,000 square kilometers) and had a population of approximately 150,000 inhabitants. Due to its relative remoteness, Kuba escaped most of the turmoil of both the European and Afro-Arab slave trade.

In the late 1890s, Morel noticed that, while the Congo Free State exported tons of raw rubber to Belgium, little was shipped back except guns and bullets. He wondered whether the many natives needed to collect the rubber were forced to do so at gunpoint. 37 032-044_MWN-DR-CON_03 38 9/6/07 4:26 PM Page 38 Democratic Republic of the Congo After reading reports written by missionaries about Congo atrocities, Morel quit his shipping job and began a campaign to expose Leopold’s Congo regime. As a newspaper reporter, Morel made speeches and wrote books and pamphlets condemning the mistreatment of the Congolese.

Would you want to work all day harvesting coffee for the government to sell overseas and then go home to no food? Well, the Congolese people don’t want to, either! So they often ignore the government’s edict and grow what they need. Workers’ unions are another way to fight an unfair system. Although under Mobutu’s reign workers’ unions were crushed at the first sign of resistance, they have begun to emerge again in the cities, where there are large factories. Steal Unfortunately, the rampant corruption in the government, which has existed since the founding of the Belgian colony, has produced a culture of corruption among citizens as well.

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