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Congo's main cities partly deserted after opposition calls for civil disobedience

Congo's main cities partly deserted after opposition calls for civil disobedience

Republic of the Congo

Congo’s main cities were somewhat deserted on Tuesday, especially the capital Brazzaville, as people stayed at home following calls by the opposition candidates to observe a “ville morte”, which literally means “ghost town” to cease all activities.

It wasn’t business as usual, just minimal movement here and there. But some areas of the capital Brazzaville were almost completely asleep; such as Bacongo, an opposition stronghold and Marché Total.

‘‘Today everything is really dead. The market is not working and there is no movement. I will not work today because of that so I will go back home,” said a resident of Brazzaville.

The actions’ aim was to protest against the re-election of President Sassou Nguesso in the first round of presidential elections of March 20.

Another Brazzaville resident said: ‘‘We are sending a message to the Congolese authorities, including those in Europe, to sit down to find a compromise because the population is suffering, and people don’t want to live like that.”
 
An appeal criticized by the ruling party and the Electoral Commission has asked the opposition to challenge the results through legal channels, without calling for civil disobedience.

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