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Vol 44 No 24

Published 5th December 2003


Cleaned out

As questions are raised about oil production, cash and crude both need a clean up

Congo-Brazzaville is broke, chronically indebted and at odds with the International Monetary Fund, whose technicians say that 57 billion CFA francs (US$102.3 million) of this year's oil earnings have evaporated (AC Vol 43 No 23). None of this fazes warlord-President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, still at work on schemes to enrich his family and that of his son-in-law, Gabon's President Omar Bongo. A $1.22 mn. grant by the African Development Bank on 2 December should help a little: $500,000 are to fight an epidemic of Ebola fever and $720,000 for 'economic management capacity building'. Having run Gabon for over three decades and married Sassou-Nguesso's daughter, Bongo is also taking an increasingly big stake in the Brazzaville economy. Sassou and his family now enjoy a new agreement negotiated with TotalFinaElf after years of stalemate over compensation for a botched privatisation.

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