November 3, 2017 — The town of Yangambi, about 60 miles west of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s much larger city, Kisangani, sits on a broad plain by the Congo River. When explorer Henry Morton Stanley canoed up the Congo in 1882 — laying the groundwork for Belgium’s King Leopold II to acquire what became the Congo Free State as his personal real estate — a similarly flat parcel attracted his attention. He noted approvingly of its potential for advancing the colonial mission: “a fine field for the future agriculturist.”
Belgian colonists indeed cultivated King Leopol
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