Congos or Bacongos (in Quicongo: Bakongo) is a Bantu ethnic group that lives in a wide strip along the Atlantic coast of Africa, from southern Gabon to the Angolan provinces of Zaire and from Uíge, passing through the Republic of Congo, the enclave of Cabinda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Angola they are the third largest ethnic group.
The Congo, whose language is Kicongo, occupied the Congo River valley in the mid-13th century and formed the Kingdom of Congo, which, until the arrival of the Portuguese, at the end of the 15th century, was strong and unified. Its capital, Mabanza Congo, was in the current Angolan province of Zaire.
During Angola's war of independence, many Congos fled to what was then Zaire, leading to a considerable decrease in the presence of this ethnic group on Angolan soil. However, after Angolan independence, many refugees (or their children and grandchildren) returned to Angola. In 1960 demographic figures, the Congo represented 13.5% of the Angolan population. It is important to note that those returning from Zaire (today the Democratic Republic of Congo) often did not return to settle in their original habitat, but went to live in large cities — mainly in Luanda, but also further south, including Lubango.
From a political point of view, the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA) represented, in a certain way, the Angolan Congos, during the struggle for independence and the first part of the civil war in Angola. After the parliamentary elections of 1992, 2008 and 2012, the FNLA began to play this role only on a residual basis. At the same time, on the initiative of Congolese groups, several small political parties without significant expression were created.