"...The bus rolled into the city of Kinshasa. Around them the poverty and vampirism that followed Colonialism was present. Soldiers, a sign of a light military presence patrolled the streets. The free-standing buildings still pitted with bullet-holes from the combat that swept the city several years ago." AaronMk, RP Post
Kinshasa is the capital of the Congo state and Kinshasa region of the Pan African Imperial Union (Ethiopia). Formerly the colonial cities of Leopoldstadt and Brazzaville under the supervision of Belgium, the cities combined to become Kinshasa after the Congolese drove out the Belgians and declared themselves a client state of the Ethiopian Empire in 1970. Situated on the Congo River, Kinshasa is an important hub of Congolese commerce and community. Kinshasa has served as the regional capital since colonial times, and has seen varying degrees of independence under Ethiopian rule. The city has also seen it's fair share of conflict, becoming at battlefield during it's own war for Independence as well as the Ethiopian Civil War. Modern Kinshasa is one of the more poverty stricken cities in the Ethiopian fold, which has led to the development of crime and corruption in the regional capital.
The city was founded as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley in 1881 and named Léopoldville in honor of King Léopold II of Belgium, who controlled the vast territory that is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as a colony. The post flourished as the first navigable port on the Congo River above Livingstone Falls, a series of rapids over 300 km below Leopoldville. At first, all goods arriving by sea or being sent by sea had to be carried by porters between Léopoldville and Matadi, the port below the rapids and 150 km from the coast. The completion of the Matadi-Kinshasa portage railway in 1898 provided a faster and more efficient alternative route around the rapids and sparked the rapid development of Léopoldville. In 1926, the city was elevated to capital of the Belgian Congo, replacing the town of Boma in the Congo estuary.
The Congolese RevolutionEdit
Throughout the 1950's and 1960's, the weakness of post war Europe had finally taken it's toll on Belgian authority in the Congo. Under the guidance of Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, militant action began to be taken against the Belgians in the Congo throughout the 1960's. Using weapons funneled to them by the Ethiopian Empire under the anti-colonial Emperor Yohannes, the Congolese rebels quickly forced the Belgians into the cities. By the year 1970, Leopoldstadt was the last bastion of Colonial authority still standing. Using artillery procurred from the Ethiopians, Mobutu's Congolese Independent Army lay siege to the city and forced it to surrended. The fall of Leopoldstadt to the rebellion ended Belgian authority in the Congo. With independence achieved, the Congo became a client state of the nearby Ethiopian Empire.
After it's independence, Mobutu assumed leadership of the Congo as it's president. In it's infancy, the Congo functioned as a loosely governed arm of the Ethiopian Empire, which claimed special rights to it's resources and required the use of it's military. Leopoldstadt, now renamed Kinshasa, was made the capital of Mobutu's Congo. The passing of the first Pan-African constitution afforded the Congo an increased amount of freedom, though the Empire still maintained special rights in the region. Anarchist rebellions appeared near the capital in the spring of 1976, but were quickly repelled. Afterwards, politics in the Congo quieted for the next few years, allowing for Kinshasa to grow.
Kinshasa and the Ethiopian Civil WarEdit
Following the assassination of Emperor Yohannes, the newly crowned Emperor Sahle faced the possibility of being ousted by a growing pro-democracy movement. The Emperor fled the country, leaving it in the hands of the military commander Ras Hassan. Sahle made deals with the British Petroleum Company, Belgium, and Germany that would return the Congo to Belgium in exchange for military aid to quell the Democrats in the rest of the country. This was controversial in both the Congo and Ethiopia, where it was seen as selling out. The Ethiopian military launched a coup under the command of Ras Hassan, threatening to replace Sahle with his younger brother Yaqob, who was being educated in China. Mobutu was one of the first high profile leaders to join Ras Hassan's coup, afraid of what would happen to him and the Congo should Belgium retake it. The Germans invaded the Congolese coast and quickly forced the Ethiopian forces out of Kinshasa. Later on in the war, a second battle would be fought over Kinshasa and Hassan would retake it, only to lose it again shortly afterwards. The fighting in Kinshasa left it's mark, but the German were stretched and could not patrol the city properly. The criminal elements of the city secretly began to help Hassan's rebels, prefering the lax Ethiopian government over the harsher colonial one. During the period of German occupation, Mobutu disappeared. The German authorities did not look into the matter, and it is commonly assumed that it was the Germans who murdered him.
After the wars end, the Congo was organized into a tighter system of government. The Congo was turned into a state in the Ethiopian "Pan African Imperial Union". Kinshasa was made the capital of the state, seating the governor. The first governor appointed to the Congo was former Independent Congolese Army officer Patrice Lumumba.
Kinshasa is situated along the banks of the Congo River. The Congo river is the second longest river in Africa after the Nile, and is the largest in terms of discharge. As a waterway it provides a means of transport for much of the Congo basin, being navigable for large river barges between Kinshasa and Kisangani, and many of its tributaries are navigable too. The river is an important source of hydroelectric power, and downstream of Kinshasa it has the potential to generate power equivalent to the usage of roughly half of Africa's population.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Kinshasa has a Tropical wet and dry climate. It features a lengthy rainy season which spans from October through May and a relatively short dry season which runs between June and September. Due to fact that Kinshasa lies south of the equator, its dry season begins around its "winter" solstice, which is in June. This is in contrast to African cities further north featuring this climate where the dry season typically begins around January. Kinshasa's dry season is slightly cooler than its wet season, though temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year.