Foreign policy and defense
France is Congo-Brazzaville's most important
partner abroad, both politically and economically, but
since the turn of the millennium, relations with China
have become increasingly important.
Half of the aid that Congo-Brazzaville receives comes
from France, and France is the only country that has
openly supported President Denis Sassou-Nguesso ever
since he forcibly took power from the people-elected
Pascal Lissouba in 1997. Other western countries were
more skeptical at first, but eventually gave the coup
maker their silent consent as they felt that the shift
in power could end the civil war that erupted that year
(see Modern History).
Overview of business holidays and various national observances in Republic of the Congo for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Angola has had a key role in Congo-Brazzaville since
the country intervened militarily in the civil war on
Sassou-Nguesso's side. The reason for the intervention
was that Sassou-Nguesso's opponents in the war,
President Lissouba, had previously supported the Angolan
separatist guerrilla Unita. With the peace agreement in
Angola in 2002, the country's strategic need for
Congo-Brazzaville decreased. Officially, the Angolan
troops were withdrawn the same year, but they
participated in the Militia War that took place in the
Pool region until 2005. During the civil war in Angola,
about 3,000 Angolans fled to Congo-Brazzaville but most
have since returned.
Relations with Angola were strained in 2013 when
Angolan troops in search of separate rebels in the
Angolan Cabinda province crossed a disputed border
section and captured about 50 Congolese soldiers. After
negotiations, the Angolans released the Congolese and
retreated across the border. The two governments agreed
the following year to resolve the border conflict with
the help of a joint technical commission.
The relationship between Congo-Brazzaville and
Congo-Kinshasa is strained, in large part because both
have opposition politicians from the other country.
Tensions escalated with a suspected coup attempt against
Congo-Kinshasa President Joseph Kabila in February 2011.
The many refugees from Congo-Kinshasa who are in
Congo-Brazzaville have also caused irritation. As
Congo-Brazzaville expelled 180,000 of these immigrants,
the tension between the two countries increased.
Gabon is closely allied with Congo-Brazzaville.
Former Gabonese President Omar Bongo, who passed away in
2009, was married to a daughter of Sassou-Nguesso and
mediated during the civil war in Congo-Brazzaville. Now
it is Bongo's son, Sassou-Nguesso's grandson, who reigns
The exchange with China has grown and China is now an
important trading partner and investor. With China,
Congo-Brazzaville has signed several agreements on
infrastructure expansion (see Finance).
In other words, the military affiliations are divided
according to ethnic origin, in other words, they are
connected to a certain group of people or more. Both
women and men can do volunteer military service for two
Defense equipment is old and decaying. In practice,
the Air Force does not work. The fleet is made up of a
few patrol boats, which usually steer up and down the
Virtually all parties had their own militia in the
past, but after the civil war of 1997-2000, the
government tried to reform the army and integrate the
rebels from the former militia groups, which was a
condition of the peace agreement in 1999. However, the
process has been slow. Many former rebels have chosen to
keep their weapons, even though they have stopped
Congo Brazzaville contributes 800 soldiers to UN
peacekeeping force Minusca in neighboring Central
FACTS - DEFENSE
8,000 men (2017)
The air Force
1 200 men (2017)
800 men (2017)
Military expenditure's share of GDP
6.2 percent (2017)
Military spending's share of the state budget
17.9 percent (2017)
Investigation against the president continues
The Supreme Court of France provides a clear
indication for further investigation into the
embezzlement charges against President Sassou-Nguesso
(see May 2009).
Pygmy people are discriminated against
The UN's special reporter for indigenous peoples says
that the pygmy people in the country are discriminated
against and are appealing to the government to protect
Vaccination campaign against polio
A nationwide polio vaccination campaign has been
launched since over 100 people have died and hundreds
have been paralyzed in a polio epidemic.
Congo-Brazzaville celebrates 50 years of independence
Congo-Brazzaville is approved for the
debt-cancellation program HIPC, which means that the
country's large external debt is reduced.