- History of the Republic of the Congo
The History of the
Republic of the Congohas been marked by French colonization, a transition to independence, Marxist-Leninism, and the transition to a market-oriented economy.
Bantus and Pygmies
The earliest inhabitants of the region comprising present-day Congo were the
Bambutipeople. The Bambuti were linked to Pygmytribes whose Stone Ageculture was slowly replaced by Bantu tribes coming from regions north of present-day Democratic Republic of the Congoabout two thousand years ago introducing superior Iron Ageculture to the region. The main Bantu tribe living in the region were the Kongo, also known as Bakongo, who established mostly weak and unstable kingdoms along the mouth, north and south of the Congo River. The capital of this Congolese kingdom, Mbanza Kongo, later baptized as Sao Salvador by the Portuguese, is a town in northern Angolanear the border with the DRC. From the capital they ruled over an empire encompassing large parts of Angola, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ruling over nearby tributary states often by appointing sons of the Kongo kings to head these states. It had six so-called provinces called Mbemba, Soyo, Mbamba, Mbata, Nsundiand Mpangu. With the Kingdom of Loangoin the north and the Kingdom of Mbundu in the south being tributary states. In the East it bordered on the Kwangoriver, a tributary of the Congo River. In total the kingdom is said to have had 3 to 4 million inhabitants and a surface of about 300.000 square km. According to oral traditions it was established in around 1400 when king Lukena Lua Nimi conquered the kingdom of Kabunga and established Mbanza Kongo as its capital.Fact|date=October 2007
AfricanIron Age culture came under great pressure with the arrival of the first Europeans, being in this case the Portuguese explorers. In Portugalthe king said in order to break Venetian and Ottoman control over trade with the East, they needed to organise a series of expeditions southwards along the African coast with the idea of establishing direct contacts with Asia. In 1482-1483 under orders of the Portuguese king Joao IICaptain Diogo Cãosailing southwards discovered the Congo River en made the first contact with the local population. In the beginning relations were limited and considered beneficial to both sides. With Christianityeasily being accepted by the local nobility, leading on the 3rd of May 1491 to the baptising of king Nzinga a Nkuwuas the first Christian Congolese king Joao I. Being replaced after his death in 1506 by his son Nzinga Mbembawho ruled as king Afonso Iuntil 1543. Under his reign Christianity gained a strong foothold in the country with many churches being built in Mbanza of which the Kulumbimbi Cathedral (erected between 1491 and 1534) being the most impressive. In theory both the kings of Portugal and Kongo were considered equals exchanging letters as such. Kongo at some point even established diplomatic relations with the Vatican, with the Popeappointing a local as bishop for the region. Reality was however different as Kongo was the minor partner in this diplomatic game.Fact|date=October 2007
Relations between both kingdoms deteriorated rapidly after 1510. The discovery of
Brazilin 1500 and the need for labour to work on the Portuguese plantations in Brazil, Cape Verdeand São Toméled Portugal to look for more slaves. As the Portuguese's demand for black slaves grew, the pressure on the Kongo kings increased. With the Kongo king Afonso I complaining in 1526 to his Portuguese counterpart, John III, bitterly of the damage done to his kingdom by this trade, which was depopulating whole areas and leading to constant wars with his neighbors. At some point even members of the royal family were taken and deported as slaves to work on these plantations. Kongo needed to stop this. It is estimated that by the end of the 18th century European traders took about 350.000 slaves from the region of the present-day Republic of Congo.
The result was a series of revolts against Portuguese rule of which the
battle of Mbwilaand the revolt led by Kimpa Vita(Tchimpa Vita) were the most important. The Battle of Mbwila (or Battle of Ambouilla or Battle of Ulanga) was the result of a conflict between the Portuguese led by governor André Vidal de Negreiros and the Kongolese king Antonio I concerning mining rights. With the Kongolese refusing to give the Portuguese extra territorial rights and the Portuguese angry because of Kongolese support for previous Dutch invasions of the region. During the battle on the 25th of October 1665 an estimated 20.000 Kongolese fought against the Portuguese who won the battle thanks to the early death in battle of the Kongolese king Antonio I.The revolt of Kimpa Vita was another attempt to regain independence from the Portuguese. Baptised around 1684 as Dona Béatrice, Kimpa Vita was raised Catholic and being very pious she became a nun seeing visions of St. Anthony of Paduaordering her to restore thee kingdom of Kongo to its former glory. Creating the Anthonian prophetic movement she interfered directly in the then civil war between the three members of the local nobility claiming the Kongolese throne, Joao II, Pedro IV and Pedro Kibenga. In it she took sides against Pedro IV, considered the favorite of the Portuguese. Her revolt, during which she captured the capital Mbanza Kongo, was short lived. She was captured by the forces of Pedro IV and under orders of Portuguese Capuchin Friarscondemned for being a witch and a heretic and consequently burned to death. For many African nationalists she is the African version of Joan of Arcand an early symbol of African resistance against colonialism.
As a result of all these wars the kingdom of the Loango in the north gained independence from Kongo. Also new kingdoms came to existence of which that of the Téké was the most important, ruling over a large area encompassing present-day
Brazzavilleand Kinshasa. Portugal position in Europe suffered a major change in 1580 when the Kingdoms of Spainand Portugal were united by a personal unionunder Philip, creating the Iberian Unionwhich lasted until 1640. This resulted in a diminished role for Portugal in African affairs, including the area around the mouth of the Congo River. The Kingdom of Kongo was reduced to a small enclave in the north of Angola with king Pedro V in 1888 finally accepting to become a vassal of the Portuguese. The Portuguese abolished the kingdom after the revolt of the Kongolese in 1914.
cramble for raw materials
The period leading up to the
Berlin Conferenceon Africa of 1884-1885 saw a rush by the major European powers to increase their control of the African continent. The rise in Western Europe of capitalismand the consequent industrializationled to a fast growing demand for African raw materials like rubber, palm oiland cotton. Those who had these raw materials could have their economy grow strong. Others would lose out. Resulting in a new and more intensified scramble for Africa. The Congo River hereby was a prime target for this new conquest by the European nations. Here the French, the Belgian king Leopold IIand the Portuguese, in close cooperation with the British, fought for control of this area. Resulting in the division of the mouth of the Congo River between Portugal, who obtained Cabinda, an enclave north of the Congo River situated on the Atlantic Coast, the French who seized the large area north of the River, and king Leopold II gaining only a small foothold at the mouth of the Congo River but obtaining the huge hinterland, the present-day Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). Hereby Leopold II obtained control via his International African Societyand later the International Congolese Society, so-called philanthropic organizations who hired the British explorer Henry Morton Stanleyto establish its authority. This resulted in the creation of the Congo Free State, the private empire of Leopold II. On November 15, 1908 the Belgian parliament annexed the colony, the reign of Leopold II over Congo being discredited.
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza
On the north bank of the river arrived the French explorer
Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, born in the Italian town of Castel Gandolfoin 1868. As a French naval officer he refused to work for the International African Society and instead helped the French in their conquest of the area north of the Congo River. Traveling from the Atlantic Oceancoast in present-day Gabon via the rivers Ogoouéand Lefini he arrived in 1880 in the kingdom of the Téké where on the 10th of September 1880 he signed the treaty with king Makokoestablishing French control over the region and making his capital soon afterwards at the small village named Mfoa later to be called Brazzaville.
Establishing French control was difficult. Belgian
King Leopold IIalso tried to gain a foothold on the northern bank of the Congo River and send Stanley to the area around Brazzaville. Following this was a series of revolts against the French of which the Bahangala Revolt led by Mabiala Ma Nganga was the first important one. It started in 1892 with the murder of the French administrator Laval and ended with the killing by the French of its leader in 1896. Many of the revolts were the result of French policy of maltreating the local population as with the introduction of forced labor. In fact the locals lost their entire rights trough the Code de l’ indigénatAct. A law, which introduced forced labor, made it illegal for the local population to publicly air its grievances and excluded them from all the important jobs.Fact|date=October 2007
Because the French government did not want to spend too much money on its colony it allowed for the establishment of the so-called Concessionary Companies, monopolies given a free hand to exploit the colony's resources except at a few strategic places, mainly around the Congo River. Most of these companies failed because of a shortage of funds.
French rule was brutal and led to many thousands of death. The construction between 1921 and 1934 of the 511 km long railway, the chemin de fer Congo-Océan between Brazzaville and
Pointe-Noireis for example said to have cost the lives of around 23.000 locals and a few hundred Europeans. Any resistance against French colonial rule however small was brutally repressed.
The first name given officially on the 1st of August 1886 for the new colony was Colony of Gabon and Congo. On the 30th of April 1891 this was renamed Colony of French Congo, consisting of Gabon and Middle Congo, the name the French gave to Congo-Brazzaville at that time. On the 15th of January 1910 the colony again was renamed to
French Equatorial Africa(Afrique Equatoriale Française or A.E.F.), this time it also included Chadand Oubangui-Chari, nowadays the Central African Republic. Congo-Brazzaville gained autonomy on the November 28, 1958 and independence from France on the August 15, 1960.
The French government ruled it through a Governor-General until the elections of 1957 when a High Commissioner of the République took over. Ruling as
Colonial Heads of French Equatorial AfricaTotal population in 1950 for the whole AEF was 4,143,922, except for around 15,000 al of them indigenous people. The capital of the AEF was Brazzaville, for Middle Congo the capital was Pointe Noire.
World War II
As before with the arrival of the Portuguese events in Europe again had a deep impact on the affairs of Congo-Brazzaville and Africa in general. On the 1st of September 1939
Hitler’s Germanyattacked Polandfollowed by a declaration of war by Britain and Franceagainst Germany on the 3rd of September, the official start of World War II. Resulting on the 9th of May 1940 in the invasion by German troops of Western Europe and the surrender of the French under Marshal Philippe Pétainon the 22nd of June 1940. Which gave birth to the so-called Vichy Francerepublic led by Pétain. It was he who had earlier during debates refused to continue the war against Germany from African territory alongside Great Britain. The flight of the French General Charles De Gaulleto Londonprior to the French defeat changed things however. Here on the 18th of June 1940 he made his famous declaration on the continuation of the war against Germany on the side of Great Britain. A declaration that led to heated discussions among French administrators in the many French colonies. With most taking sides for Pétain. Partly a result of the destruction by the British of the main French fleet at Mers-el-Kébiron the 4th of July 1940. With the help of a handful of local French administrators and officers and the British and Belgian government in exile De Gaulle won over large parts of the French Empire. Politicians as René Pleven, who later became Prime Minister, and officers as General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, Lieutenant René Amiot, Captain Raymond Delange, Colonel Edgar De Larminatand Adolphe Sicé helped him to gain control of the AEF territory. In three days troops loyal to De Gaulle took control of Chad (26th of August 1940), Cameroun (27th of August) and of Middle Congo (the 28th of August). Brazzaville hereby became the capital of the so-called Free Frenchunder the Gaulle ruled in theory by a Conseil de défense de l’Empire set up by De Gaulle on the 27th of October 1940.
In this revolt the then-governor of Chad
Félix Ebouéplayed a key role. Because of this and his earlier support for De Gaulle he became Governor General of the Afrique Equatoriale Française (AEF) in 1940, the first non-white to achieve this position in French colonial history. Born in 1884 in French Guianathis descendant of African slaves was a key figure together with René Pleven in the organisation by the De Gaulle government of the Brazzaville Conference of 1944, which took place between the January 30 and February 8, 1944 and which did set out the new direction of French colonial policies after WW II. Policies already put forward by Eboué in his 1941 book entitled “La nouvelle politique coloniale de l’A.E.F.” This conference led to the abolition of forced labour and the code de l’indigénat, which made the political and social activities of the indigenous people illegal. This in turn led to the new French constitution of the Fourth Republic approved on the 27th of October 1946 and the election of the first African members of Parliament in Paris. For Eboué and the new French government the people in the colonies where officially part of the French empire and had a new series of rights. A severely weakened France under pressure of the US who wanted to have the colonies freed from its European masters had hardly any option but to change its colonial policies, as did Britain elsewhere.
Rise of nationalism
Governor General Felix Eboué had in fact a carrot and stick approach to local Congolese grievances. While allowing certain freedoms he brutally repressed any activities deemed dangerous to French colonial control. The case of the Congolese trade unionist
André Matsoua(Matswa) shows his tough approach to political dissent.
André Matsoua can be seen as the father of modern Congolese nationalism. His rise shows how in spite of the Code de l’indigénat and the brutal repression Africans in French colonies were able to set up resistance movements to colonial rule. In this local schools run by French missionaries, as elsewhere in Africa formed the basis of this rise of African nationalism. Like before with the case of Kimpa Vita under Portuguese rule André Matsoua got his education and contacts with European thinking trough the church. Born in 1899 in Mandzakala he joined the French costumes administration in Brazzaville in 1919 and soon after left for France where he joined the French army to fight in
Moroccoduring the rebellion of 1924-1925. Which for him seemed successful as he returned home as a non-commissioned officer. In 1926 he in Paris formed the Association des Originaires de l’A.E.F. with as purpose to help people from his region living in France. For this he got support from some sections of French society as the French Communist Partyand elements within the Free Masonry movement.
When in 1929 his group also became active in Congo itself and demanded an end to the Code de l'indigénat, things changed. In 1929 the French dissolved Matsoua's association and he together with some of his friends were jailed and send in exile to Chad. Leading to riots and a campaign of disobedience against the French administration lasting many years. He however escaped to France in 1935 where under a new identity he continued his political work. Showing his loyalty to France, in spite of the harsh repression, he joined the French army to fighting the German invasion in 1940. Wounded he was rearrested and sent back to Brazzaville where on the 8th of February 1941 he was sentenced under Felix Eboué to work in labour camps for the rest of his life. He died under unclear circumstances in prison on the 13th of January 1942. Murdered according to his supporters who created a movement called Matsouanism who, chiefly among the Lari was active even after independence. Making his political influence felt for a long time. Showing however also the early fragmentation of local political life among tribal lines.
Birth of modern Congolese politics
Another early political leader feeling the repressive nature of Felix Eboué’s policies was
Jacques Opangault. Born in Ikagna on the 13th of December 1907 he started a protest movement in his country in 1938 against the use by the local Catholic Church of the Lingalalanguage to the detriment of his northern Mbochilanguage. For this reason he was arrested under orders of Eboué who interned him and sent him into exile to Oubangui-Chari until the end of the war. On returning he set up the African Socialist Movement(Mouvement Socialiste Africain or M.S.A.), the local section of the main French socialist party, the S.F.I.O., the Section française de l’International Ouvrière. Although agitating against colonial rule he still wanted to work inside the French empire. But because of his more radical ideas and anti-clericalism he never really gained serious support from the French SFIO and from the white elite who preferred to help rival politician Felix Tchicaya. Another element limiting his political action was the fact that as a Northerner he lacked appeal in the main southern population centres. Only in the run op to independence in 1956 he started gaining more prominence as a rival to Fulbert Youlou. By aligning him with the Parti Progressiste Congolais(P.P.C.) founded in 1947 by Felix Tchicaya he in 1956 even became head of the local government. With only the slimmest of majorities this government was brought down the next year when MSA-deputy Georges Yambotjoined the opposition party of Fulbert Youlou. With supporters of the MSA and PPC revolting accusing Yambot of being bribed by the colonial establishment to support the French favorite candidate Fulbert Youlou en his party the Union de Défense Des Intérêts Africains(UDDIA).The main Congolese politician until 1956 was without doubt Felix Tchicaya, born in Librevilleon the 9th of November 1903 and a member of the royal family of the kingdom of Loanga. Together with among others the legendary Ivory Coastleader Félix Houphouët-Boignyhe in 1946 formed the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain(R.D.A.) and in 1947 the Parti Progressiste Africain. He on the 21st of November 1945 became one of the first African leaders elected to the French parliament. Giving him great prestige in his native country.
Although a man on the left of French political life he never strongly questioned French colonial rule. Resulting in a loss of influence in a Congo preparing for independence and influenced by nationalist anti-colonial leaders as
Kwame Nkrumahfrom Ghanaand the Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser. Only by aligning him with his erstwhile enemy and more radical Opangault in the parliamentary elections of March 31, 1957 could he continue to play a leading role in Congolese political life. The defection of Georges Yambot from the MSA to Fulbert Youlou's UDDIA and the loss of the municipal elections later in his former stronghold Point Noire however led to his downfall. He died in Point Noire on January 15, 1961 seeing his rival Youlou having quasi-dictatorial powers over an independent Republic of Congo with former political allies as Opangault and Germain Bicoumat joining Youlou's government.
Congo in the 1950s saw the beginnings of a political life that until today characterizes Congolese politics: French domination, tribal politics and political bribes.
Road to independence
The favorite of the French establishment and
Catholic Churchprior to independence was Fulbert Youlou, a former priest. Born on June 17, 1917 in Moumbouolo he first became a priest on the 9th of June 1949. He however soon became very active in Congolese cultural, social and political life. His choice for political life meant the end of his religious career. Thanks to the support of colonial interests, who feared Opangault, and thanks to the defection to his side of George Yambot he became prime minister in 1958. Leading to the establishment of the Republic of Congo on the 28th of November 1958 with Brazzaville replacing Point Noire as capital. It gained independence from France on August 15, 1960 under the leadership of Prime Minister Fulbert Youlou.
His ascendancy to power was difficult. The Yambot affaire and the take-over of power by Youlou thereafter led to the first uprising in the Republic of Congo. Started on the 16th of February 1959 as a revolt organised by Jacques Opangault and his MSA, it almost straight away erupted in clashes along tribal lines between Southerners, supporting Youlou, and people from the North loyal to the MSA. Soon put down by the French army it led to the arrest of Opangault and his detention. In total about 200 people died. After which Youlou held the elections Opangault previously asked in vain. These parliamentary elections were convincingly won by Youlou who shortly afterwards led the country to independence. Elections, rigged in favour of Youlou according to observers. During this period prior to independence his authoritarian tendencies became clearer. With for example the arrest on the 9th of May 1960 of a series of politicians including veteran politician Simon Kikhounga Ngot, a leading member of parliament from
Dolisie, Congo’s third biggest city, officially because of organizing a communistplot. Youlou later in November that year released as part of an amnesty Opangault and other adversaries like Simon Kikhounga Ngot. In return both politicians joined Youlou's government, liquidating the opposition by giving ministerial posts to his most dangerous opponents. Allowing Youlou to establish a more or less dictatorial rule over the newly independent country.
Shortly before gaining independence an event occurred that in the years to come would have deep influence on the country and its relations with the outside world, mainly France. In 1957 near Pointe Indienne the French Societé des Pétroles de l’Afrique Equatoriale Françaises (S.P.A.E.F.) found
oiland gasreserves offshore in sufficient exploitable quantities. Although French geologists already in 1926 established for certain the presence of oil and gas in the country only then France started exploiting these reserves. The reason was that in Algeriaa war of independence was fought the French were losing. And Algeria until then was the main source of oil and gas destined for the French market. To remain independent of the American and British oil majors France had to look elsewhere for its supply. For some the discovery of oil of the Congolese coast was a blessing. For the majority of the local population it rather proved to be a curse as the IMFin its yearly reports on the country a few years ago sadly observed.
After this turbulent difficult period the country gained independence from France on the 15th of August 1960 with Fulbert Youlou as president. His powerbase already disputed by the local elite and with the French officially no longer in control his difficulties to stay in power increased. As Brazzaville used to be the capital of the large AEF it had an important workforce and trade unions. Further radicalisation elsewhere in Africa as a result of the decolonization led to revolt against the dictatorial rule of Youlou. When on the 6th of August Youlou announced the formation of the one-party state with only one trade union, trade unions started their revolt on the 13th of August. When his palace was besieged on the 15th by angry workers he was forced to resign, partly also because the French refused to intervene militarily and other politicians joined the revolt. This uprising is known as the Three Glorieuses, named after the French revolt of 27, 28 and 29 1830 of July against King Charles X. Fulbert Youlou and his main supporters where arrested by the military and ceased to play any further role in Congolese political life. The Congolese military took charge of the country briefly and installed a civilian provisional government headed by
Alphonse Massamba-Débat. Under the 1963 constitution, Massamba-Débat was elected President for a 5-year term and named Pascal Lissoubato serve as Prime Minister. However, President Massamba-Débat's term ended in August 1968 when Captain Marien Ngouabiand other army officers toppled the government in a coup.
After A period of consolidation under the newly formed National Revolutionary Council, Ngouabi assumed the presidency on December 31, 1968. One year later, President Ngouabi proclaimed Congo to be Africa's first "people's republic" and announced the decision of the National Revolutionary Movement to change its name to the Congolese Labor Party (PCT).
On March 18, 1977 President Ngouabi was assassinated. Although the persons accused of shooting Ngouabi were tried and some of them executed, the motivation behind the assassination is still not clear. An 11-member Military Committee of the Party (CMP) was named to head an interim government with Col. (later Gen.)
Joachim Yhombi-Opangoto serve as President of the Republic. Accused of corruption and deviation from party directives, Yhombi-Opango was removed from office on February 5, 1979, by the Central Committee of the PCT, which then simultaneously designated Vice President and Defense Minister Col. Denis Sassou-Nguessoas interim President. The Central Committee directed Sassou-Nguesso to take charge of preparations for the Third Extraordinary Congress of the PCT, which proceeded to elect him President of the Central Committee and President of the Republic. Under a congressional resolution, Yhombi-Opango was stripped of all powers, rank, and possessions and placed under arrest to await trial for high treason. He was released from house arrest in late 1984 and ordered back to his native village of Owando.
After decades of turbulent politics bolstered by
Marxist-Leninistrhetoric, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Congolese gradually moderated their economic and political views to the point that, in 1992, Congo completed a transition to multi-partydemocracy. Ending a long history of one-party Marxist rule, a specific agenda for this transition was laid out during Congo's national conference of 1991 and culminated in August 1992 with multi-party presidential elections. Sassou-Nguesso conceded defeat and Congo's new president, Professor Pascal Lissouba, was inaugurated on August 31, 1992.
Congolese democracy experienced severe trials in 1993 and early 1994. The President dissolved the National Assembly in November 1992, calling for new elections in May 1993. The results of those elections were disputed, touching off violent civil unrest in June and again in November. In February 1994 the decisions of an international board of arbiters were accepted by all parties, and the risk of large-scale insurrection subsided.
However, Congo's democratic progress derailed in 1997. As presidential elections scheduled for July 1997 approached, tensions between the Lissouba and Sassou camps mounted.Fact|date=October 2007 The Congolese army, loyal to President Lissouba, attacked Sassou's compound in Brazzaville on June 5. While the Army said the operation searched for arms Sassou used the incident as a
casus bellifor armed insurrection, igniting a 4-month conflict that destroyed or damaged much of Brazzaville. Lissouba traveled throughout southern and central Africain September, asking the governments of Rwanda, Uganda, and Namibia for assistance. Laurent Kabila, the new-President of the DRC, sent hundreds of troops into Brazzaville to fight on Lissouba's behalf. About 1,000 Angolan tanks, troops, and MiGfighter jets and arms donated by the French-government bolstered Sassou's rebels. Together these forces took Brazzaville and Pointe-Noirein the morning of October 16. Lissouba fled the capital while his soldiers surrendered and citizens began looting. France had put its 600 citizens in Brazzaville, mostly oil workers, on alert for evacuation, but ultimately decided against the measure. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E05E2DA153FF935A25753C1A961958260 Rebels, Backed by Angola, Take Brazzaville and Oil Port] The New York Times.] Soon thereafter, Sassou declared himself President and named a 33-member government.Fact|date=October 2007
In January 1998 the Sassou regime held a National Forum for Reconciliation to determine the nature and duration of the transition period. The Forum, tightly controlled by the government, decided elections should be held in about 3 years, elected a transition advisory legislature, and announced that a constitutional convention will finalize a draft constitution. However, the eruption in late 1998 of fighting between Sassou's government forces and an armed opposition disrupted the transitional return to democracy. This new violence also closed the economically vital Brazzaville-Pointe-Noire railroad; caused great destruction and loss of life in southern Brazzaville and in the Pool, Bouenza, and Niari regions; and displaced hundreds of thousands of persons. However, in November and December 1999, the government signed agreements with representatives of many, though not all, of the rebel groups. The December accord, mediated by President
Omar Bongoof Gabon, called for follow-on, inclusive political negotiations between the government and the opposition.
Sassou won elections in 2002 with almost 90% of the vote. His two main rivals, Lissouba and
Bernard Kolelas, were prevented from competing and the only remaining credible rival, André Milongo, boycotted the elections and withdrew from the race. A new constitutionwas agreed upon in January 2002, granting the president new powers and extending his term to seven years as well as introducing a new bicameral assembly.
*Basil Davidson – Africa in history – Paladin Books 1974
*Basil Davidson – The Africans: An entry to Cultural History – Pinguin African Library 1973
*Philippe Moukoko – Dictionnaire Général du Congo-Brazzaville – l’Harmattan – 1999
*Gualbert-Brice Massengo – L’économie pétrolière du Congo – L’Harmattan – 2004
*Maria Petringa, "Brazza, A Life for Africa" (2006)
* [http://www.boondocksnet.com/editions/morel/morel10.html Additional colonial history of Middle Congo.]
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