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Vol 40 No 14

Published 9th July 1999


Congo-Brazzaville

Fighting talk

Under fire, strongman Sassou is sending secret messages to his enemies

President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who is too broke to pay his own army, has been secretly trying to make a deal with his main rivals. These are the elected President he overthrew in October 1997, Pascal Lissouba, and former Premier Bernard Kolélas. Former Finance Minister, Norbert Moungounga Nkombo Nguila, who runs a democracy lobby in Paris, has also been talking about a deal with Lissouba, we hear. Sassou's secret emissaries have included his Interior, Security and Territorial Administration Minister, General Pierre Oba, and Patrick Olivier, a French former mercenary in Rhodesia.

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