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Vol 40 No 21

Published 22nd October 1999


Danse macabre

In their ekonga initiation dance, young warriors from northern Congo chant 'Boma !', meaning 'Kill!' The 'Cobra' militiamen who follow General Denis Sassou-Nguesso have often used the word in recent weeks, as they try to drive the 'Ninjas' (militias of ex-Premier Bernard Kolélas) out of Pool Region (AC Vol 21 No 17). A pastoral letter of 21 September, issued by the Chairman of the country's Catholic bishops, Monsignor Anatole Milandou, describes 'unprecedented violence' by Sassou's Cobras and the 'Forces Congolaises de Libération-Ninjas'. Dozens of people die each day and some 5-600,000 have been driven into the forest without food.

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