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Republic of the Congo

The nation today known as the Republic of Congo (République du Congo) was originally inhabited by Pygmy peoples, later displaced by migrating Bantu-speaking tribes, in particular the Bakongo. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, several Bantu kingdoms would emerge in the region, controlling trade up and down the Congo river and eventually establishing commercial relationships with Portuguese and French traders seeking sources for gold, ivory and slaves. As the power of the Bantu kingdoms declined, the region of present day Congo came under French administration in the 1880s. French Equatorial Africa (AEF) was organized in 1908, comprising Middle Congo (modern Congo), Gabon, Chad, and Oubangui-Chari (modern Central African Republic), administered through the capital of Brazzaville. The nation achieved independence as the Congo Republic on August 15, 1960, electing its first president - Fulbert Youlou - who would shortly thereafter be ousted in a political uprising and replaced by Alphonse Massamba-Débat who would embrace so-called "scientific-socialism" as the nation's constitutional ideology.

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