5 February 1885 - 15 November 1908
Privately owned colony
Independent nation - Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Congo Free State was established on 5th February 1885
as a kingdom privately owned by King Léopold II of Belgium.
This was not Belgian territory, as the Belgian government and
people were at the time uninterested in establishing colonies.
On 15th November 1908, following reports of major human-rights
abuses in the territory, the king was forced to cede the Congo Free
State to Belgium. It was then renamed Belgian Congo.
Today, the country is the independent nation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.