About DR Congo.
The Congolese media operate against a backdrop of political power struggles and violent unrest.
Attacks on media outlets and their staff are common, and the authorities frequently silence critical voices.
In the volatile east, the authorities have disrupted media operations, citing security threats, and rebel groups have been known to seize control of outlets.
In its World Press Freedom Index for 2015, Reporters Without Borders ranks the DR Congo at position 150 out of 180 countries.
Nonetheless, the press is able to criticise government bodies, and some publications are mouthpieces for opposition parties.
The DR Congo has nearly 300 radio stations and scores of TV stations. The private sector dominates the broadcast media and top outlets are owned by businessmen with strong political links.
Radio is the top medium; a handful of stations, including state-run RTNC, broadcast nationwide. Terrestrial TV tends to be confined to the main towns.
The UN Mission in DR Congo (Monuc) and a Swiss-based organisation, Fondation Hirondelle, operate Radio Okapi. The influential network employs mostly-Congolese staff.
The BBC broadcasts on FM in Kinshasa (92.7), Lubumbashi (92.0), Kisangani (92.0), Goma (93.3) and Bukavu (102.2). .
Radio France Internationale (RFI) is widely available on FM too. On occasion, the authorities have suspended its relays because of its coverage.
A handful of daily newspapers have low print-runs and rarely circulate outside the capital.
The recent history of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has been one of civil war and corruption.
DR Congo is a vast country with immense economic resources and, until recently, has been at the centre of what some observers call “Africa’s world war”, with widespread civilian suffering the result.
The war claimed an up to six million lives, either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition.
The war had an economic as well as a political side. Fighting was fuelled by the country’s vast mineral wealth, with all sides taking advantage of the anarchy to plunder natural resources. Some militia fight on in the east, where a big United Nations force is trying to keep the peace.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Population: 69.6 million
Major Languages: French, Lingala, Kiswahili, Kikongo, Tshiluba
Life expectancy: 47 years (men), 51 years (women)
Currency: Mauritian Rupee (1 ZAR = 92.7 CDF)
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