Kinshasa and Brazzaville
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Kinshasa and Brazzaville

March 22, 2004
This image, taken from the International Space Station on 6 June 2003, shows two capital cities on opposite banks of the Congo River. The smaller city is Brazzaville on the north side of the river, and Kinshasa on the south side. The cities lie at the downstream end of an almost circular widening in the river known as Stanley Pool. The international boundary follows the south shore of the pool (~30 km in diameter). The Republic of the Congo, originally a French colony, is sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville—as opposed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (known from 1971 to 1999 as Zaire) which is often called Congo-Kinshasa, originally a Belgian colony. The Congo River drains the vast equatorial Congo Basin, and discharges 35,000- 40,000 meters per second of water at Stanley Pool (by comparison, the Nile River discharges 2500 - 3500 meters per second at Aswan).

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