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Mabanckou meets Hollande over Congo's political crisis

Mabanckou meets Hollande over Congo's political crisis

Republic of the Congo

Franco-Congolese writer, Alain Mabanckou, has met with French President Francois Hollande, a month after he criticised the French leader for his silence following the tense political situation in Congo that resulted in the re-election of President Dennis Sassou Nguesso.

In an open letter to Hollande, Mabanckou observed that the French leader had maintained a long silence on the outcome of the March 20 elections which he says were “rigged” in favour of the incumbent.

“The Congolese abroad and those who struggle day and night in the country found that you are observing a long silence on the outcome of the rigged presidential election that took place last March in Congo – Brazzaville,” wrote the author who is known for his ‘Memoirs of Porcupine’ novel.

Mabanckou believes his country is in a political stalemate and has proposed for a dialogue that is led by the international community.

“The name of my country is now inscribed in red on the blackboard of dishonored banana republics, next to North Korea,” the writer had protested in the open letter last month.

A statement released by the Elysee Palace after the meeting said President Hollande was committed to peace, democracy and fundamental freedom.

The French president also indicated that he remained committed to a dialogue process that would mitigate conflict and unite the Congolese.

Congo’s electoral commission announced Nguesso had emerged the victor in the first round of polls with 60.39% of the votes.

The result was however contested by his two main competitors and Mabanckou, who denounced the polls as “stricken with smallpox.”