AFRICA/CONGO - Calm has returned in Brazzaville

Tuesday, 5 April 2016 armed groups  

Brazzaville (Agenzia Fides) - Calm is slowly returning in Brazzaville after yesterday's clashes. This was reported to Agenzia Fides by local Church sources from the capital of the Republic of Congo, where in the early morning hours of April 4th in the southern districts of Mayanga and Makelekele gunmen attacked government buildings. The clashes, even with the use of heavy weapons, lasted for hours, but "already yesterday evening, the clashes gradually stopped - refer our authorities - and today the situation is calm".
"If yesterday Brazzaville looked like a dead city, deserted, today the situation looks different". "However, there are still people who are welcomed in the churches in the area" add Fides sources. "A part of the population in fact sought refuge in churches during the clashes. We do not have a precise number of these people but they are certainly more than a hundred. Caritas has mobilized to assist them, providing food and basic necessities".
The government has accused former militia "Ninja Nsiloulou", led by Frédéric Bintsamou, aka "pastor Ntoumi", of being responsible for the attack. Ntoumi, who after having laid down the arms had joined President Sassou Nguesso, however supported the challenger Guy-Brice Parfait Kolelas, who came second in the presidential elections of 20 March, which saw the re-confirmation of Nguesso as President.
On April 4, the Constitutional Court confirmed the validity of the election results of 20 March, rejecting the request of Kolelas to cancel the results in some election districts because he said they were marred by fraud. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/04/2016)