Congo. According to countryaah, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso was re-elected by a large majority in July. According to the Election Commission, he received 78.61 percent of the vote. Several of his twelve counter-candidates protested and refused to approve the result. The suspicion was mainly directed at voter participation being said to have been over 66 percent, while domestic observer groups, and candidates’ own representatives, claimed that it was significantly lower. However, the relatively few foreign observers found nothing significant to object to.
During the year, the unrest in the Pool region again increased between the capital Brazzaville and the Atlantic coast. The area was hit hard during the civil war that lasted until 2003. It was unclear who this time was responsible for assaults against trains and road users and a number of rapes. So far, about 10,000 former rebel soldiers have been disarmed in a program supported by the World Bank, but many in the Pool region have retained their weapons.
The former leader of the so-called Ninjamilis in the Pool region, former Prime Minister Bernard Kolelas, passed away in Paris in November. He fled the country when Sassou-Nguesso triumphed in the civil war and was sentenced in 2000 in his absence to death for war crimes but later pardoned.
In October, Congo published a program to lease 200,000 hectares of agricultural land to South African farmers for 30 years. Foremost, white South Africans are expected to accept the offer to move here, while their own farms are transferred to landless blacks. According to the Congolese authorities, mainly abandoned state farms should be rented out. It is hoped that the increased production will reduce the need to import agricultural products and that the project will also mean that expert knowledge is transferred to the country.