Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
Stage 6: Polarization, Stage 8: Persecution
For almost four decades, President Denis Sassou Nguesso has maintained power in Congo-Brazaville through undemocratic means. He briefly lost power in the country's first multi-party elections in 1992, but he regained power in 1997 following a deadly civil war. After attacks occured during the 2016 elections, President Nguesso blamed an former militia from the civil war, the "Ninjas." His government reacted by launching a war in the Pool region, where Ninja fighters were based. It targeted civilians who had no relations with the Ninjas and used scorched-earth tactics by destroying entire villages. The war triggered a major humanitarian crisis. Additionally, Baka and Bayaka "Pygmies," who are indigenous hunter-gatherer groups, face severe marginalization and persecution. Notably, non-consensual international conservationist efforts have led in part to the destruction of their culture and livelihoods, with forest rangers abusing them and preventing them from using their lands.
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As election nears, war trauma still lingers in Republic of Congo’s Pool region | France 24
UPDATED: Congo-Brazzaville’s hidden war | Philip Kleinfeld, The New Humanitarian
Conservation giants implicated in public health crises among "Pygmies" | Survival International