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BOMA (properly Mboma), a port on the north bank of the river Congo about 60 m. from its mouth, the administrative capital of Belgian Congo. Pop. about 5000. It was one of the places at which the European traders on the west coast of Africa established stations in the 16th and 17th centuries. It became the entrepôt for the commerce of the lower Congo and a well-known mart for slaves. The trade was chiefly in the hands of Dutch merchants, but British, French and Portuguese firms also had factories there. No European power exercised sovereignty, though shadowy claims were from time to time put forward by Portugal (see Africa, § 5). In 1884 the natives of Boma granted a protectorate of their country to the International Association of the Congo.

See H.M. Stanley, The Congo and the Founding of its Free State (London, 1885).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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