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From History of the Republic of the Congo

The Republic of the Congo Civil War, lasting from June 1997 to December 1999, was fought between partisans of two presidential candidates, which ended in an invasion of Angolan forces and installation of Denis Sassou Nguesso to power. In Congo it is commonly known as the War of 5 June (Guerre du 5 juin).

Congo's democratic progress was derailed in 1997. As presidential elections scheduled for July 1997 approached, tensions mounted between the supporters of President Pascal Lissouba and former President Col. Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Congolese Labor Party (PCT). Sassou had ruled the country from 1979 to 1992, when the country was a Marxist-Leninist single-party state.

When on June 5, President Lissouba's government forces surrounded Sassou's compound in Brazzaville, Sassou ordered his militia to resist. Thus began a 4-month conflict that destroyed or damaged much of the capital. In early October 1997, Angolan troops invaded Congo on the side of Sassou. Most of Brazzaville fell to rebel and Angolan forces on October 14, 1997, and Lissouba fled; within two days the capital was under the control of forces loyal to Sassou Nguesso and Pointe-Noire fell with little resistance. Soon thereafter, Sassou declared himself President and named a 33-member government.

Alongside the political conflict between Lissouba and Sassou Nguesso, oil was considered a crucial factor in the war, and with French interests at stake, France was seen as backing Sassou Nguesso against Lissouba.

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 would 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 Bongo of Gabon, called for follow-on, inclusive political negotiations between the government and the opposition.

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Waiting in vain for a train in DR Congo - BBC News Tweet this news
BBC News--This wealth however has attracted looters and fuelled the country's -civil war-. Despite the country's size, transport infrastructure is very poor. Of 153497km of roads, only 2794km are paved. There are around 4000 km of railways but m - Date : Thu, 24 Nov 2011 09:01:48 GMT
DR Congo's child soldiers forgotten in election campaigning - Monsters and Tweet this news
Monsters and UN officials warn that the Democratic -Republic- of -Congo- still has one of the highest prevalences of child soldiers in the world, nearly eight years after the country's brutal -civil war- officially came to an end. Li - Date : Thu, 24 Nov 2011 10:16:19 GMT
Elephant population disappears as civil war rages: UBC study - Vancouver Sun Tweet this news
Vancouver Sun--The -war- in the Democratic -Republic- of -Congo-, regarded by many as the world's deadliest conflict since the Second World -War-, has also had a devastating effect on the elephant population in the eastern region of the country, acco - Date : Fri, 11 Nov 2011 09:27:05 GMT
Eastern Congolese Gear Up for Election - Voice of America Tweet this news
Voice of America--This week, as they gear up to vote in -Congo's- second election since the end of a -civil war-, some voters are jubilant, while others fear - and threaten - that these elections will not be peaceful. In the final days of campaigning - Date : Thu, 24 Nov 2011 13:22:33 GMT
Elephants Caught in the Crossfire - Ecology Global Network Tweet this news
Ecology Global Network--To take a regional view, 22000 elephants were thought to inhabit the eastern -Congo- before the -civil war-, and there are currently only about 6000 left. Essentially, the entire regional population is now less than what used to ex - Date : Sat, 26 Nov 2011 23:08:43 GMT
Congo's plethora of resources translates only to misery - Montreal Gazette Tweet this news
Montreal Gazette--After a campaign marred by violence, the Democratic -Republic- of -Congo- holds national elections on Monday. -War--crimes suspect Abraham Bahaty Bayavuge fears that if he is returned to the DRC, ... - Date : Sat, 26 Nov 2011 19:55:52 GMT
Congolese Civil War play Ruined is moving Denver audiences - Tweet this news's important is that the -civil war- has destroyed the country, and more than 200000 women and children have been raped. One million -Congolese- have HIV/AIDS, widespread among soldiers and the women they brutalize. By claudia carbo - Date : Thu, 31 Mar 2011 23:42:09 GMT+00:00
CLCS Junior Working To Make World Better - Jamestown Post Journal Tweet this news
Jamestown Post Journal--"But in the Democratic -Republic of the Congo-, they are months away from what will be their third government election, ever. It could be their chance to end years of -civil war-, devastation and political corruption, and - Date : Mon, 11 Apr 2011 05:47:04 GMT+00:00
World Bank Says Employment, Better Security Will Break Cyclical Violence - Bloomberg Tweet this news
Bloomberg--Ivory Coast is also emerging from a month-long -civil war- and a decade of armed conflict, while Democratic -Republic- of -Congo- remains awash with armed groups, the remnants of wars over the past 20 years. “There are places where fragile st - Date : Mon, 11 Apr 2011 03:22:00 GMT+00:00
Mining Companies Ask for Delay in SEC Conflict Minerals Ruling - AllGov Tweet this news
AllGov--Largely involving the Democratic -Republic of the Congo-, conflict minerals are those extracted amid -civil war-, corruption and human rights abuses. ... - Date : Wed, 12 Jan 2011 12:49:50 GMT+00:00

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