Congo. The unrest following the civil war in 1997 continued sporadically. The so-called Ninjamilis, former Prime Minister Bernard Kolela’s private army, was blamed for a number of armed assaults. According to authorities, the militia was behind at least 30 fatalities in the area around the capital Brazzaville during the fall. According to Countryaah, the capital of Republic of the Congo is Brazzaville. The security situation was periodically so poor that the rail traffic between the port city of Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville was down, which led to serious problems with the supply in the capital.
The United Nations Food Agency WFP (World Food Program) began in November to transport food to Brazzaville by air from the port of Pointe-Noire, where thousands of tonnes of food were collected. The food shortage in the capital, and as a result also in neighboring Congo-Kinshasa’s capital Kinshasa, led to sharp price increases.
The days before the Christmas holidays, the conflict intensified. Rival militias fought fierce battles on Brazzaville’s southern outskirts and around the airport. Extensive looting occurred before the army could force the militia out of the city. The fighting was said to have driven 300,000 people into flight and claimed hundreds of lives.