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Republic of Congo Timeline -- Part 4: From the 1999 Ceasefire to Present Day

A Chronology of Key Events in Republic of Congo

By Alistair Boddy-Evans, About.com

1999 The government of the Republic of Congo and rebel forces agree to a ceasefire after negotiations in Zambia -- political parties are to give up their armed wings, rebel soldiers are to be integrated into the army.
December 2000 The government announces that more than 13,000 weapons had been surrendered and 12,000 militiamen disarmed as part of last years ceasefire.
30 December 2000 President Denis Sassou-Nguesso announces that the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party) has reached an agreement with Rassemblement pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social (RDPS, Rally for Democracy and Social Progress) under the leadership of Jean-Pierre Thystère Tchicaya which will allow its participation in the next elections.
14 March 2001 A mass grave is discovered near Malebo Pool which, human right's groups claim, contains the bodies of those executed by security forces during 1998-99. President Denis Sassou-Nguesso claims that is is merely an attempt to upset the peace process.
17-31- March 2001 'National Dialogue' between government representatives, civil society groups, ngo's and opposition parties agree a draft constitution. The process does not involve those groups 'exiled' from the Republic of Congo.
11-14 April 2001 Part two of the 'National Dialogue' leads to the adoption of the Convention for Peace and Reconstruction.
Bernard Bakana Kolélas, president of the Mouvement Congolais pour la Démocratie et le Développement Intégral (MCDDI, Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development) and Pascal Lissouba (president of the republic between 1992 and 1997) remain in exile.
May 2001 Nineteen Democratic Republic of the Congo nationals are extradited, they are accused of being part of the assassination of President Laurent-Désiré Kabila in January 2001.
July 2001 New coalition formed, Alliance pour la Démocratie et le Progrès (ADP, Alliance for Democracy and Progress), to promote the candidacy of André Milongo (Prime Minister form 1991-92) for president.
September 2001 Over 15,000 rebel militia are now said to have disarmed.
International Monetary Fund begins the process of clearing the Republic of Congo's debt of $4 billion.
New constitution adopted by transitional government.
December 2001 Pascal Lissouba tried in absentia and sentenced to 30 years hard labor for treason and corruption (related to a $150 million oil deal) by the high court of the Republic of Congo.
January 2002 Constitutional changes allowing consolidation of presidential power (for Denis Sassou Nguesso) is approved by referendum.
March 2002 Denis Sassou-Nguesso wins first presidential elections in the Republic of Congo since 1992. However it is far from fair and free given all his rivals were banned from taking part
Ninja rebels in the Malebo Pool region cause many to flee their homes. The 'Ninja', led by Pastor Frederic Ntumi, are loyal to exiled Bernard Bakana Kolélas, president of the Mouvement Congolais pour la Démocratie et le Développement Intégral (MCDDI, Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development) and former prime minister (8 September to 15 October 1997).
June 2002 Major battle in the environs of Brazzaville between government troops and 'Ninja' rebels.
March 2003 Peace deal signed between government of the Republic of Congo and the 'Ninja' rebels.
June 2004 Republic of Congo is removed from the international list of counties legitimately dealing in diamonds.
7 January 2005 Isidore Mvouba becomes Prime Minister (the first since Bernard Kolélas indeed in October 1997) for the Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party), until 15 September 2009.
January 2005 A group of army officers arrested for arms theft.
April 2005 Army officers arrested in January are accused of plotting a coup.
October 2005 Bernard Bakana Kolélas, president of the Mouvement Congolais pour la Démocratie et le Développement Intégral (MCDDI, Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development) and former prime minister (8 September to 15 October 1997) who has been in exile in various states (Democratic Republic of the Congo, then Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, South Africa, Great Britain and the United States), is allowed to return to the Republic of Congo to bury his wife. He had been sentenced in absentia to death for war crimes.
November 2005 Bernard Bakana Kolélas is given amnesty.
24 January 2006 After disagreements within the African Union over the suitability of the Sudan to be chair, Denis Sassou-Nguesso is appointed as head of the Union for a year. Sassou-Nguesso takes the opportunity to accuse France of meddling in his country's affairs. (A French Appeal court had reopened an investigation into the disappearance of almost 400 refugees in 1999.)
June 2007 Pastor Frederic Ntumi encourages his 'Ninja' rebels to destroy their weapons as part of the commitment to peace.
June 2007 Parliamentary elections are boycotted by more than 40 political parties. This allows the ruling Parti Congolais du Travail (PCT, Congolese Workers' Party) to take more than 90% of the seats.
November 2007 Republic of Congo has 80% of its debt canceled by the London Club (similar to the Paris Club).
May 2009 Relations between the Republic of Congo and France are strained once more as a French Magistrate opens an investigation into alleged embezzlement by President Denis Sassou-Nguesso (President Omar Bongo of Gabon and Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea are also accused).
July 2009 President Denis Sassou-Nguesso once again wins elections boycotted by opposition parites. He is given another zeven years in office.
March 2010 Paris Club (and Brazil) agree to cancel the whole of the Republic of Congo's debt owed to Club member states, this amounts to almost $2.5 billion.
November 2010 French appeal court allows the probe into President Denis Sassou-Nguesso to go ahead.
December 2010 UN report on Indigenous Peoples highlights the problems of Congo's pygmies.

More on the History of Republic of Congo
Part 1: From Prehistory to Membership of La Communauté (1946)
Part 2: From Membership of La Communauté (1946) to President Denis Sassou-Nguesso (14 August 1979)
Part 3: From President Denis Sassou-Nguesso (14 August 1979) to the 1999 Ceasefire

History Resources for the Republic of Congo
Leaders of the Republic of Congo Since Independence

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