Both countries that carry this name have been suffering a combination of civil war, economic collapse and general lawlessness in recent years. The civil war in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) has ended and a peace process is underway, but the U.S. has no diplomatic presence here (the U.S. Embassy suspended operations in June, 1997). Security in the capital has improved significantly, however.

Civil war still plagues the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa), and the political and security situation is unstable. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, which also handles affairs for the Republic of Congo, has imposed curfews on all its employees to reduce the possibility of detention by police. Travel here should be avoided.