Congo. In a disputed referendum in the fall of 2015, an amendment to the country’s constitution was approved that allowed President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to run for another term. In January, he was named candidate for the ruling Congolese Workers’ Party (PCT). Before the election, which was held in March, five of the other presidential candidates signed an agreement in which they pledged to support it by those who would possibly move on to a second round of elections. However, such a thing never became relevant as Sassou-Nguesso received 60% of the votes already in the first round of elections. According to countryaah, the current population of Congo is 5,518,098. The elections generally seemed to have been calm even though the police had felt compelled to intervene against opposition supporters outside a polling station. The media were prohibited from reporting during the election day and a few days thereafter, while telecommunications in the country were switched off.
According to thereligionfaqs, at the end of March, in the southern parts of the capital, Brazzaville, where the opposition has strong support, a strike of a kind held several times since the referendum last year. In early April, security forces clashed with people who, according to the government, belonged to the formally disbanded rebel movement Ninja Nsiloulou. Seventeen people lost their lives in connection with the violence. The so-called Ninjamilis had close ties to the presidential candidate Guy Brice Parfait Koléla’s father. Koléla himself attempted to have the election results failed in four regions, but the Constitutional Court rejected his request for an inquiry because of a technicality. In April, former Finance Minister Clément Mouamba was appointed new Prime Minister.
In May, the Congolese authorities asked the EU to call their ambassador after the Union criticized the presidential election. The EU had also criticized the constitutional changes that allowed the president to remain in power and refused to send election observers to Congo. In the aftermath of the election, one of the candidates, Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, was indicted for violation of national security since a video recording from 2007 showed Mokoko expressing his support for a plan to have Sassou-Nguesso deposed. Mokoko received 14% of the vote in the March elections. In July, opposition politician Paulin Makaya was sentenced to two years in prison and fines for being turned up for protests in connection with the referendum in the fall of 2015.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of ROC stands for the nation of Republic of the Congo in geography.
CONGO, People’s Republic of
The country, which at the time of independence had chosen a strictly socialist political and economic stance, took a more pragmatic and open line, especially with regard to foreign investments, due to internal economic difficulties.
The population (2,270,000 residents according to a 1988 estimate) is largely concentrated in the coastal strip washed by the Congo River. The capital Brazzaville (595,102 residents) Is the most important center, while Pointe Noire (294,203 residents) Is the liveliest economic hub and the main port of the country.
The economy is strictly controlled through five-year development plans, which aim to increase the production of immediate consumer goods and reduce dependence on foreign countries.
The agricultural sector, after the nationalization of the land, was abandoned by most of the farmers, who preferred to look for jobs in the tertiary sector. For this reason, in the early 1980s, the government had to introduce a rural habitat consolidation policy using the Ujamaa village policy as an example.already adopted in Tanzania: more than 2000 villages were thus affected by agricultural development initiatives aimed at increasing food production (cassava, cassava, corn, potatoes). Commercial crops have undergone a very significant decrease and today only coffee (2000 t) and cocoa (2000 t) reach significant values. The breeding, also due to environmental difficulties (the area is largely affected by trypanosomiasis), is unable to cover the internal needs; fishing is poorly developed despite the presence in this sector of foreign capital (Italian and Brazilian). Very important is the forest, which covers 60% of the total area and which feeds exports considerably. Timber (okoumé, limba, mahogany and, more recently,
The mining activity mainly concerns the coastal ocean strip, where 26 off-shore platforms extract more than 6,000,000 tons of crude a year. The prospects for the oil business are excellent and the massive presence of foreign capital (Elf Congo and Agip Congo) has enabled rapid development of extraction and the construction of a modern refining plant in Pointe Noire. Other minerals mined are tin, zinc, copper and gold, but in quantities of little interest. The deposits of phosphates, bauxite and iron (Zanaga and Banabana) seem more promising. The processing industry employs 1/4 of the total workforce, with food, textile, chemical, wood and immediate consumer goods production plants.
Transportation uses inland waterways; the capital is connected to the Atlantic by a 513 km long railway line, today absolutely insufficient; a second railway line connects Loubomo on the border with Gabon. Only one tenth of the internal roads (8700 km) are asphalted. More than half of foreign trade goes to France, followed by the United States and Italy.