Violence in the Republic of Congo erupted in the aftermath of the contested re-election of President Denis Sassou-Nguesso for a third term on 20 March 2016. Amid opposition protests on 4 and 5 April 2016, an attack on governmental buildings in the capital Brazzaville, attributed to members of an armed opposition group known as the Ninja militia, resulted in a government-led military crackdown in the Pool department. ? Severe clashes between government forces and the Ninjas have led to the displacement of thousands of people within the country. ?

On 23 December 2017 the government and representatives of the Ninja militia of Pastor Ntumi signed a ceasefire and cessation-of-hostilities agreement. ? No fighting has been reported since.

The government has severely restrained journalists' and humanitarian organisations' access to affected areas. Numerous reports of human rights violations, such as killings, torture, and forced disappearances, have been attributed to both parties and raise protection concerns. ?

The Republic of Congo is currently undergoing a severe economic crisis, aggravated by the decline in international oil prices. ?

Diseases: The country is occasionally affected by disease outbreaks. A cholera outbreak affected Plateaux and Likouala departments between March and May 2018. 45 suspected cases were recorded (CFR: 4.4%). No updated figures have been released since the end of May. ?

Refugees: Some 59,000 refugees are registered in Congo, most are from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. ? 35,800 of the refugees are living in the northern part of Likouala department. ? There are some 10,600 Rwandan refugees in Congo. ? As the security situation in Rwanda has been completely restored, Rwandans are considered not to be in need of international protection anymore since 1 January 2018, when the cessation clause of the refugee status came into force. Rwandans who until 31 December 2017 were living in Congo or other countries as refugees have the right to apply for citizenship or residence in the host country. At the beginning of January only 10% of refugees who had applied for documentation in Congo were allowed to stay as residents or citizens. ? 8,460 refugees in Congo are currently living in the country without documents. ?

INFORM measures Congo's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster for 2019 to be high, at 5.5/10, an increase from 5.2/10 in 2018. Congo's vulnerability is measured at 6/10.

Latest Developments

04/12: As IDPs increasingly return to their villages of origin in the conflict-afflicted Pool region, humanitarian needs have increased and diversified. Both residents and returnees in the districts of Kindamba, Vinza, Kimba, Mayama, Mbandza Ndounga, and Goma Tse Tse are in need of safe drinking water, basic healthcare services, and education facilities. Food insecurity is also critical as harvests were interrupted for two years due to displacement.?

Key figures

  • 81,000 IDPs  [?]
  • 20,000 Refugees who fled to neighbouring countries  [?]
  • 160,000 People in need of humanitarian assistance  [?]

Key priorities

Food security: Livelihoods, food production, and markets were severely disrupted by the conflict. The disruption of the food production means that the food security situation of IDPs will continue to be difficult, even if they return to their places of origin. ?

Protection: Extra-judicial killings, beatings, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence, committed by both parties but predominantly by security forces, have been widely reported.? As IDPs return to their places of origin, there are protection concerns related to the lack of identification papers. ?

Health: Health centres lack supplies, medicine, and personnel as healthcare was disrupted by the conflict.  ?

Information Gaps and needs

Due to restricted humanitarian access in the affected areas, there are significant information gaps regarding the population in need.

There has been no update on the cholera outbreak in Plateaux and Likouala since the end of May.

Key documents