UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern [UN News Centre report] on Wednesday over reports coming out of the Republic of Congo regarding an apparent Government security operation in an area of southern Brazzaville known as the Pool. The reports [statement] flow from suspected police action taken against civilians, after the March 20 election against opposition leaders and their supporters. Seventeen people have died in these security operations, including three members of security forces, with several others wounded. The joint statement urges the government to ensure access to the Pool by humanitarian actors and that security forces act in full accordance with international human rights law.
In October voters in the Republic of the Congo approved an amendment to the constitution [text, PDF, in French] to allow President Denis Sassou Nguesso to extend his term in office [JURIST report]. The amendment allows presidents to renew [JURIST report] their term twice and removes the age limit for presidential candidates, currently set at 70. Nguesso, who is 72, would have been ineligible for the presidency without the amendment. Before being elected to office in 2002, he also served as president from 1979 to 1992. Nguesso was reelected on March 20.