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Vol 5 (AAC) No 8

Published 1st June 2012


Sassou draws in Beijing

Billions of dollars of Chinese building contracts could shore up the Sassou-Nguesso presidency despite growing concerns about accountability

The Chinese-led construction boom in Congo-Brazzaville has been assuming mythical proportions. In May, rumours – boosted by a mobile phone video – swept through Brazzaville and Kinshasa that a Chinese exorcist had captured a river demon that had been destroying the pillars of a Chinese-built bridge. For President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, the benefits of the boom could prove more tangible: a practical response to his critics who accuse him of presiding over decades of political repression, grand corruption and a stagnant economy.

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