In 1960 the Belgian Congo gains its independence and becomes the Republic of the Congo, the second-largest country in Africa. The country has the world’s largest reserves of cobalt and diamonds, and significant quantities of gold, copper, tungsten, tin... But slavery and decades of corruption have turned it into one of the poorest. Congo's civil war is the world's bloodiest conflict since World War II: more than 5 million people have died, millions more have been driven to the brink by starvation and disease, and several million women and girls have been raped. In 2001, self-proclaimed President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated and his son, Joseph Kabila seized power; he was elected president five years later. Since then the security situation remains volatile and the humanitarian situation has worsened. Learn more about the country, and about organizations and people working hard to make it a safer, better place.