Congo: Bridging the Past

Principal artery of commerce in the Congo was traditionally the Congolese National Route, a 1,725-mile rail-river-rail connection from Elisabethville in Katanga to the Atlantic gateway at Matadi. But the route became unusable with the outbreak of civil war. When ever Katanga's secessionist Moise Tshombe felt events going against him, he quickly ordered another railroad bridge blown up. Thus, since 1960 most traffic has moved on alternate rail lines through Portuguese Angola and Mozambique. But the routes across foreign territory soak up revenue badly needed within the Congo, and last week Premier Cyrille Adoula hopefully dedicated a new railroad bridge at...

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