President Denis Sassou-Nguesso Addresses Tragedy at Brazzaville’s Michel d’Ornano Stadium

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
President Denis

In a somber address to the Parliament, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso vowed to establish accountability for the tragic events at Brazzaville’s Michel d’Ornano Stadium, where at least 32 young Congolese lost their lives on November 20, 2023, during a stampede while seeking recruitment into the military.

The President initiated his nearly two-hour speech with a minute of silence for the victims, emphasizing the need for a thorough analysis of the circumstances surrounding the “appalling tragedy.”

The Congolese head of state expressed the imperative to objectively determine responsibilities, stating, “It is necessary to calmly analyze the circumstances of this dreadful tragedy to establish, for history, all responsibilities and, for the future, draw useful lessons.” Security services have indicated that heads will roll in the military command in the coming days.

Following the incident, Congo observed a one-day national mourning, and while national funerals were not arranged, the 32 bodies were handed over to the families along with a sum of 5 million CFA francs (approximately 7,600 euros) for each bereaved family to organize the funerals.

Addressing the endemic youth unemployment contributing to such tragedies, President Sassou-Nguesso pledged the recruit around 6,700 young individuals into public service before the year’s end. These recruits will join the 6,400 hired in 2022. The President urged the government to sustain these efforts to meet the ever-growing demand of young people seeking employment.

Highlighting the severity of youth unemployment, which stands at 42% according to the World Bank, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso emphasized the government’s commitment to addressing this challenge and providing opportunities for the youth.

Soukaina Sghir

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