Congo. About 240 people were killed and more than 2,300 injured when a gunfire exploded in the capital, Brazzaville, on March 4. According to the authorities, the fire was caused by a short circuit in the power lines. The explosion started at 8 am on Sunday morning and felt right into neighboring Congo (Kinshasa) on the other side of the Congo River. 17,000 people became homeless and some of them were evacuated to temporary housing. In addition to people, numerous homes and other buildings were damaged in the area.
Authorities singled out Defense Minister Charles Zacharie Bowao as ultimately responsible for the explosion, and he was accused of being careless and nonchalant. In September, Bowao was dismissed from his post and in October he was prosecuted. Bowao himself claimed that the government had appointed him a scapegoat and that there were political reasons behind it. Twenty-six other people, most of the military, were also prosecuted as partly responsible for the accident.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Republic of the Congo. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
In the parliamentary elections, which were held in two rounds on July 15 and August 5, the government alliance with the Congolese Workers’ Party (PCT) won the lead. They received 108 of the 136 seats in parliament. That meant some decline for the government alliance, but it still retained its large majority in Parliament. The largest opposition party, the Pan-African Social Democratic Union (UPADS), got seven seats.
Like previous elections, this was criticized for irregularities. According to the opposition, the government used media and government institutions to convey its message during the election campaign. In the past, the opposition has demanded the establishment of an independent election commission, which foreign election observers have also proposed.
According to countryaah, the population of Republic of the Congo in 2012 was 4,855,984, ranking number 119 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.590% yearly, and the population density was 14.2199 people per km2.