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Cablegate: Brazzaville in Brief for October 26, 2007

VZCZCXRO0681
RR RUEHBZ
DE RUEHBZ #0430 2991631
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261631Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRAZZAVILLE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0805
INFO RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0031
RUEHBZ/AMEMBASSY BRAZZAVILLE 0889

UNCLAS BRAZZAVILLE 000430

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
AF/FO FOR SWAN,AF/C FOR BARGERON,AF/PD FOR ANYASO AND
COZZENS,A/RSA BARLERIN,AF/EX NOLAN AND MARTINEZ,PARIS FOR AFRICA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR PHUM SCUL MARR ECON ECIN EAID
EFIN, CF
SUBJECT: BRAZZAVILLE IN BRIEF FOR OCTOBER 26, 2007

1. (U) President Denis Sassou-Nguesso will deliver 'a message on
the state of the nation' to Parliament on October 27, 2007.

2. (U) "A Dream Come True Thanks to Sassou" banners flew over
the city of Pointe Noire as President Sassou-Nguesso inaugurated
the construction of a major roadway to link the port city of
Pointe Noire with Brazzaville. The 372 mile-long highway
contract was awarded to the People's Republic of China
(PRC)-based company, China State Construction and Equipment
(CSCEC) and the 30-month project is expected to cost $390
million. The agreement, signed in 2006, provides for the
construction and equipment to be provided by CSCEC and the labor
pool will be made up of both Chinese and Congolese. The
construction of the highway will be conducted in four phases.
The 115-mile stretch between Pointe Noire and Dolisie is the
first phase of the contract. A section of the road, from Kinkala
to Brazzaville, financed by the European Commission in the
Congo, was started in 2006. Funds are slated to be granted under
the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) 1 January 2008, to
finance additional transport infrastructures.

3. (U) M. Emile OUOSSO, GRoC Minister of Transports, has fired
the managing staff of Chemin de Fer Congo Ocian (CFCO), the
railway company, including M. Jacky Trimardeau, General Manager,
M. Jean Botata, Deputy Manager, and M. Joachim Ndibika,
Secretary General, for mismanagement of the company funds and

SIPDIS
the non application of RoC government instructions. Trimardeau
was replaced by M. Jean Emile Malinka, former finance director
of the railway.

4. (U) Candidates who failed to secure seats in the legislative
elections held in June and August of 2007 took their case to the
Constitutional Court. The losing candidates protested the lack
of transparency in the voting process, the poor organization of
the process, and the lack of communicating results of the
process. The candidates filing a case against their opponents
included: Alain Akouala Atipault against Guy Gantsio Gambou
(Plateaux); Jean Adidi against Andri Kissangui (Sangha) and
Niciphore Fylla Saint Eudes against the electoral Administration
of Poto Poto, the President's district. In a public comment, the
failed candidates announced that this will be a true test of the
neutrality of the Constitutional Court as the Court, if it rules
in favor of the failed candidates, must decide if and how to
correct the problem.

5. (U) Spain: A delegation representing private investors from
Spain met with Henri Djombo, Minister of Forestry Economy,
regarding promoting the sustainable management of forests in
Central Africa through trade certified timber with Spanish
purchasers interested in timber trade.

6. (U) President Denis Sassou N'guesso communicated, via
Catholics priests and mediators of the Pastor N'tumi's National
Council of Republican Party, that N'tumi should take his
appointment as Adviser to the President no later than December
31. After that point, the appointment will be cancelled.

7. (U) Members of the Economic Community of Central African
States (ECCAS) met in Brazzaville to continue work started last
June in Libreville developing a strategic vision of goals to be
accomplished by 2025 for Congo-B, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Rwanda, Tchad, Sao Tome/Principe,
Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Central Africa.

8. (U) French Minister of Immigration Brice Hortefeux arrived in
Brazzaville on October 24 to meet with Basile Ikouebe, RoC
Minister of Foreign Affairs, to sign a three-part immigration
agreement: better organization of legal immigration, better
controls over illegal immigration, and co-development. Mr.
Hortefeux stated in a press conference that this partnership
agreement takes into account both the needs and realities of the
two countries, country of origin and of destination.

WEISBERG

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