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.
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