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Congo-Brazzaville: 37 dead in military recruitment stampede

President of the Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development tries to force entry to the stadium

At least 37 people, almost all of them young people, lost their lives and dozens of others were injured in a deadly stampede that occurred Monday, November 20 inside the Michel-Ornano stadium in Brazzaville.

Thousands of young people stormed this temple of sport around 11 p.m. to be among the first to obtain the information sheet the next day to enlist in the Congolese Armed Forces. A large crowd tried to force entry to the stadium, causing several people to fall and be trampled by others.

Injured people were transported to the military hospital and Brazzaville University Hospital. The authorities reacted and confirmed the provisional number of deaths in a press release published Monday morning. A crisis unit has been set up.

The call for this recruitment of 1,500 young people to serve in the various army corps had aroused popular fervor among a section of the population affected by endemic unemployment.

According to the World Bank, the dynamics of social exclusion and factors of fragility in the Republic of Congo exacerbate poverty and inequality. A reality which, according to some observers, could explain the presence of thousands of young people this Black Monday in this stadium. A physical presence resulting from the absence of dematerialization of administrative procedures in the country.

The army has not confirmed whether this recruitment will take place after the tragedy or its postponement. On May 28, an entrance exam for the police and gendarmerie was organized in all departments of the country. Although it attracted many young people, its results are still awaited.

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