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Vol 40 No 21

Published 22nd October 1999


Congo-Brazzaville

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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