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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Surviving the devastation

After the war, the Congo needs water and agricultural projects

The war in the Congo, this small former French colony — often confused with its much larger neighbor the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) — was nasty, brutish and short. It started in June 1997 when the democratically elected president, Patrice Lissouba, attempted to disarm the Cobra militiamen of the former dictator, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, prior to the upcoming presidential elections. Sassou-Nguesso's Cobras fought back, and within days the entire capital was engulfed in intense fighting.

After four months Sassou-Nguesso's forces seized Brazzaville, effectively controlling the country. Up to 10,000 were reported dead with another half a million having fled the country.

The war in the Congo, this small former French colony — often confused with its much larger neighbor the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) — was nasty, brutish and short. It started in June 1997 when the democratically elected president, Patrice Lissouba, attempted to disarm the Cobra militiamen of the former dictator, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, prior to the upcoming presidential elections. Sassou-Nguesso's Cobras fought back, and within days the entire capital was engulfed in intense fighting.

After four months Sassou-Nguesso's forces seized Brazzaville, effectively controlling the country. Up to 10,000 were reported dead with another half a million having fled the country.


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