Saturday, October 3, 2015

Paris-Brazzaville : Congo, a country riddled with several unsolved deaths or assassinations

Commandant Marien Ngouabi was the President of Congo, assassinated on the 18th of March 1977.  Commandant Marien Ngouabi who came to power in 1968 through a popular revolt, which ended the rule of Alphonse Massamba-Debat, was born on the 31st of December 1938 in Ombelle, a village located some 18km from Owando. While Congo’s second president who was born in 1921 in Boko came to power on the 19th of December 1963 and officially resigned on the 2nd of August 1968. Alphonse Massamba-Debat was assassinated on the 25th of March 1977. However Commandant Marien Ngouabi became the military leader of Congo on the 1st of January 1969 and died on the 18th of March 1977. And until date, the real cause or causes of the death and also the people suspected of being connected with the death of Marien Ngouabi are not known.  Many names have been floated as those who may have or did take part in the killing of Marien Ngouabi.  There are many suspects, but those whose names are most often floated are: late Pierre Anga and General Florent Ntsiba, who is currently Minister of state for labor and social security since 2009.  

But before his current post, he rose to prominence within the army and the ruling PCT party and was also minister of information in the 70s. But how could Pierre Anga who was one of the confidantes of Marien Ngouabi possibly have taken part in his assassination? It is just as puzzling as was the death of Marien Ngouabi himself. Pierre Anga, who was born in 1940, and was a Congolese army officer and rebel leader who was an opposition figure to Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso. He formed part of the Military Committee of the Congolese Workers Party or PCT from 18th of March 1977 to 3rd April 1977 acted in place of the Presidency after Marien Ngouabi was assassinated. Anga was arrested in 1987 for allegedly participating in a coup d'√©tat against the President; during this arrest several soldiers were killed. Shortly after this coup attempt fighting broke out in the North of the country between forces led by Anga (a supporter of Joachim Yhombi-Opango) and Government forces. He was killed by Congolese security forces. He is reported to have died in the jungle of Ikonongo. Since independence from France in 1960, Congo has had several leaders.

However Marien Ngouabi has remain not only unique because of his charisma, it also perhaps the way in which he was assassinated by those he brought to the limelight, that has made many Congolese desiring long after he is gone to know more about him and the cause of his violent death. Almost immediately after the death or assassination of Marien Ngouabi, Alphonse Massamba-Debat and Bishop Emile Biayenda were also assassinated in what seems to be a revenge attack orchestrated by northern officers who thought that, the assassination of Marien Ngouabi was a southern plot. The corpse of Alphonse Massamba-Debat has never been found. Rumors has it that, where is currently built the stadium carrying his name is where he was hastily buried. As for Emile Biayenda, it seems he was buried in the north of Brazzaville on top of a hilly range that today has become a pilgrimage venue for Roman Catholics. Congo therefore has several unsolved deaths or assassinations mysteries that also breads a simmering tension which makes the country looks more like a keg of gun powder than an oasis of peace often claimed by its leadership.  

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