CONGO FREE STATE



 


In ancient times the territory comprising former Zaire was occupied by Negrito peoples (Pygmies). The territory was first explored by the American Correspondent Henrey Stanley, who was subsequently commissioned by King Leopold II of Belgium to conclude development treaties with local chiefs. The Berlin Conference of 1885 awarded the area to King Leopold II, who exploited it as his private property until it was annexed to Belgium in 1908.








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