Democratic Republic of the Congo–Republic of the Congo

The international boundary between the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo extends for over 1,700 km from the tripoint with Angola (Cabinda) in the south to the tripoint with the Central African Republic in the north. It was first delimited by French and Belgian colonial authorities in 1885 and received many adjustments in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was, however, never fully defined, with the alignment of the boundary along the Congo River remaining imprecise and leading to multiple disputed islands and vast stretches of undetermined sovereignty, where the river is so full of islands that any clarity of control stops at its banks.

Modern-day instability in both States has hindered progress towards resolving the boundary questions in the Congo River and providing any kind of detailed delimitation. While a thorough bilateral boundary demarcation would illuminate the location of the frontier, it remains a low priority for the governments of the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Poor relations between the two states has also hindered boundary clarification progress. The Republic of the Congo established a national border commission in 2017 to begin working with neighboring states on better defining frontiers, but no specific progress on the boundary with the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been made.

Map showing the land boundary between Congo and the DRC

For access to the full Democratic Republic of the Congo–Republic of the Congo Boundary Brief, contact us.

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