Denis Sassou Nguessois a prominent Congolese politician and former military officer who has played a significant role in the political history of the Republic of the Congo. Born on November 23, 1943, in Edou, in the Oyo district in northern Congo, he hails from the Mbochi tribe. He was the youngest child of Julien Nguesso and Émilienne Mouebara, with his father being a notable hunter chief in Edou.
Sassou Nguesso's early education included primary schooling in Fort Rousset, which is now known as Owando. He continued his studies at Dolisie Normal College from 1956 to 1960.
His military career began in 1960, just before Congo's independence, when he joined the army. After receiving military training in Algeria, he returned to Congo in 1962 and was assigned to active duty as a second lieutenant. Later, he attended the Application School for Infantry in Saint-Maixent-l'École, France, where he graduated as a lieutenant. He joined Congo's elite paratroop regiment and became one of the first officers of the Airborne Group, the first paratroop battalion in the Congolese Army, established by Marien Ngouabi in 1965.
Throughout his military career, Sassou Nguesso held various positions of authority, including commanding the Airborne Group, leading the Brazzaville Military Zone (ZAB), and heading the Intelligence department of the State Security Services. He achieved significant ranks, including colonel in 1978 and later army general in 1989.
In addition to his military career, Sassou Nguesso became deeply involved in Congolese politics. He played a pivotal role in the 1968 military coup that ousted President Massemba Debat and brought Marien Ngouabi to power. He was a founding member of the National Revolution Council (Conseil National de la révolution) established in December 1968. Under the leadership of Marien Ngouabi, the council limited the president's powers, leading to President Debat's resignation in September 1968. Ngouabi officially became the head of state in January 1969.
Sassou Nguesso was actively involved in the Congolese Labor Party (Parti Congolais du travail or PCT), a communist party with a Marxist-Leninist doctrine, and was elected as a member of its first central committee in December 1969. He also served as Director of State Security in May 1973 and was appointed Minister of Defense and Security at the age of 32.
In March 1977, President Marien Ngouabi was assassinated, leading to a series of political changes and power struggles. Sassou Nguesso assumed interim leadership before eventually becoming the President of the Republic in 1979.
During his presidency, Sassou Nguesso negotiated loans from the International Monetary Fund, allowed foreign investors to conduct oil and mineral extraction, and maintained strong relationships with France, particularly with the French oil company Elf Aquitaine, which played a crucial role in the exploitation of Congolese oil fields.
Sassou Nguesso faced political challenges, including the introduction of multiparty politics in 1990 and his subsequent stripping of executive powers by the 1991 National Conference. Despite these challenges, he remained in office as a ceremonial head of state and ran as a candidate in the 1992 presidential election but placed third.
The Republic of the Congo experienced a period of civil unrest and conflict, with Sassou Nguesso briefly losing power before returning during the Second Republic of the Congo Civil War. He won the 2002 presidential election, followed by his re-election in 2009. A new constitution passed by referendum in 2015 allowed him to stand for another term, and he was re-elected in the 2016 presidential election.
Sassou Nguesso continued to lead the country and was involved in international diplomacy, serving as the Chairman of the African Union and participating in diplomatic efforts, such as addressing the Libyan crisis.
Throughout his political career, Sassou Nguesso faced controversies and allegations of corruption, including reports of extravagant spending by his family and associates.
In summary, Denis Sassou Nguesso's biography illustrates his transition from a military career to a prominent political figure in the Republic of the Congo. His tenure in politics has been characterized by periods of leadership, civil unrest, and international diplomacy. Throughout his political career, he has encountered both notable achievements and controversies, including allegations of corruption and extravagant spending by his family and associates.
DENNIS SASSOU NGUESO
Denis Sassou Nguesso is a Congolese politician and former military officer. He has served as president of the Republic of the Congo since 1997. He served a previous term as president from 1979 to 1992. During his first period as president, he headed the Congolese Party of Labour for 12 years. Wikipedia
DATE OF BIRTH: 23RD NOVEMBER, 1943
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