How Republic of Congo’s Crackdown on the Once-Dormant ‘Ninja’ Rebel Group Is Backfiring

Congo soldiers and civilians cast their ballots at a polling station, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, March 20, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).
Congo soldiers and civilians cast their ballots at a polling station, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, March 20, 2016 (AP photo by John Bompengo).
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In 2015 and 2016, Denis Sassou Nguesso—who has served as president of the Republic of Congo for two stints totaling more than 30 years—orchestrated a constitutional referendum and election that allowed him to stay in office. However, his latest term has been marred by more than a year of instability in the southeastern Pool region and elsewhere. The International Federation for Human Rights released a report this month denouncing “massive human rights violations” in the region, including arbitrary arrests and torture. In an email interview, Brett Carter, a Central Africa expert at the University of Southern California, explains what’s fueling […]

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