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Cablegate: Brazzaville in Brief - November 23, 2007

VZCZCXRO3916
RR RUEHBZ
DE RUEHBZ #0455 3271345
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231345Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRAZZAVILLE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0830
INFO RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0319
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0297
RUEHBZ/AMEMBASSY BRAZZAVILLE 0935

UNCLAS BRAZZAVILLE 000455

SIPDIS

SIPDIS, PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS, DEPT FOR AF/EX PMO MARTINEZ,
DEPT FOR AF/C DESK OFFICER BARGERON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON EFIN EAID ENRG CF
SUBJECT: BRAZZAVILLE IN BRIEF - NOVEMBER 23, 2007

1. EmbBrazzaville is an unclassified Post.

2. President Denis Sassou-Nguesso attended the official launch
of the multi-national military maneuvers called Barh El Gazel
being conducted as part of the peacekeeping operations under the
auspices Economic Community of States Central Africa (ECCAS).
During his stay in Chad, the President met with Idriss Diby
Itno, on the issues of security and peace in Central Africa.

3. Edouard Ambrose Noumazalaye, President of the Congolese
Senate and Secretary General of the Congolese Labor Party (PCT)
died November 17 in Paris, aged 73. He is purported to have been
the closest friend and confidante of President Sassou-Nguesso.
He began his career in 1966 as Prime Minister, and remained in
government until his death, his last office being the President
of the Senate. Within the last five months, the RoC has lost
three former prime ministers.

4. RoC Minister of Mines Pierre Oba signed an agreement with
Managem, a Moroccan-based firm, to begin exploration of gold in
the area of Kouilou. After initial inspections of the area, the
managing director of Managem, Abdellaziz Abarro, commented that
this exploration will have a positive impact on the
socio-economic development of the country. The agreement
includes creating a company to operate in compliance with the
Congolese law: 90 percent of the shares allotted to the company
Managem or an affiliated company and 10 percent of shares
assigned to the Congolese State.

5. The Habitat Bank, to be used for home loans, has opened its
doors with a budget of US$5 million for FY2008. In an attempt to
create a middle class segment of the RoC population, the RoC
contracted with Chinese construction companies to build
apartment complexes and housing compounds. The smallest
apartment for sale, one bedroom one bath, will sell for
approximately US$66,000.

6. The national oil company SNPC inaugurated the renovation of
their office building. The renovations, to the tune of US$14
million, were done by the China Beijing Residential Development
and Construction Group Corporation. On the same note, a
delegation of construction company owners from the Republic of
China visited Brazzaville this past week to review possible
public work programs in the RoC. This delegation focused on the
development of roads in the northern part of the RoC.

WEISBERG

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