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Bernard Kolélas

bernard kolelas bernard, bernard kolelastra
Bernard Bakana Kolélas 12 June 1933 – 13 November 2009 was a Congolese politician and President of the Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development MCDDI Kolélas was a long-time opponent of the single-party rule of the Congolese Labour Party PCT, and after the introduction of multiparty politics in the early 1990s he was one of Congo-Brazzaville's most important political leaders He placed second in the August 1992 presidential election, behind Pascal Lissouba; subsequently he was mayor of Brazzaville, the capital, during the mid-1990s, and he briefly served as Prime Minister of Congo-Brazzaville during the 1997 civil war After rebel forces prevailed in the civil war, he lived in exile for eight years until an amnesty made it possible for him to return; he was then elected to the National Assembly in 2007


  • 1 Education and early political career
  • 2 Activities during PCT rule
  • 3 MCDDI and URD
  • 4 1997 civil war
  • 5 Exile and return
  • 6 References

Education and early political career

A native of Congo-Brazzaville's Pool Region, Kolélas was born at Mboloki Mpayaka, located in the Pool's Kinkala District, in 1933 He attended primary and secondary school in the nearby administrative capital of Brazzaville He joined the Union for the Defense of the Interests of Africans UDDIA in 1958 Under Fulbert Youlou, who was Congo-Brazzaville's first President, Kolélas worked for a time as Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1961 After Youlou was ousted and Alphonse Massemba-Débat took power in August 1963, Kolélas was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs, but he preferred that the post should go to David Charles Ganao and chose not to accept it Kolélas was arrested in September 1963 and spent one month in detention He was arrested again in February 1964, but was freed at the request of Prime Minister Pascal Lissouba He then went into exile across the Congo River in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and founded an opposition newspaper, La Résistance

Activities during PCT rule

In November 1969, Kolélas unsuccessfully attempted a coup d'état against President Marien Ngouabi He was sentenced to death, but was granted a reprieve and subsequently released on 1 January 1972 He was again arrested in connection with another plot in August 1978 and was released in 1980 Afterwards he lived in Brazzaville's Bacongo district He sent letters to President Denis Sassou Nguesso on 7 November 1988 and 20 November 1989, proposing a national roundtable discussion on the country's problems


Kolélas later founded a political party, the MCDDI; its statutes were deposited at the Ministry of the Interior on 3 August 1989 In the June–July 1992 parliamentary election, he was elected to the National Assembly as the MCDDI candidate in Goma Tsé-Tsé constituency, located in the Pool Region Kolélas then stood as the MCDDI candidate in the August 1992 presidential election, placing second In the first round he won 2032% of the vote, behind Pascal Lissouba of the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy UPADS and ahead of the PCT candidate, President Sassou Nguesso His support was strongest in the Pool Region, where he won 644% of the vote in the first round; he did not win a first round majority in any other region, although he placed first in Brazzaville with 299% of the vote In the second round, the PCT backed Lissouba and Kolélas was defeated, taking 3868% of the vote; he won second round majorities in the Pool Region 8871%, Brazzaville 5680%, and Kouilou Region 5077% but fared very poorly in the rest of the country

A period of instability in Congolese politics followed the 1992 election Kolélas led an opposition coalition, the Union for Democratic Renewal URD, in alliance with the PCT, despite Kolélas' prior opposition to the PCT The conflict between the government and the opposition became more severe following the May–June 1993 parliamentary election, and about 2,000 people were killed in serious political violence from 1993 to 1994 In January 1994, the army blockaded the Bacongo district of Brazzaville, the stronghold of Kolélas' Ninja militia, and attacked the Ninjas with heavy weaponry Following an agreement on 30 January 1994, the violence was reduced, and Lissouba and Kolélas publicly reconciled in June 1994 In July 1994, Kolélas was elected as Mayor of Brazzaville

1997 civil war

During the 1997 civil war, Kolélas was President of the National Mediation Committee President Lissouba, seeking to secure his position and resolve the conflict by bringing his opponents into the government, appointed Kolélas as Prime Minister at the head of a government of national unity in September 1997 The government under Kolélas was composed of 41 members; although the rebel coalition loyal to Sassou Nguesso was offered some portfolios in the government, it rejected the offer

Lissouba and Kolélas were ousted and forced into exile when forces loyal to Sassou-Nguesso captured Brazzaville on October 14, 1997 Ninja rebels loyal to Kolélas continued to fight for some time afterwards In November 1998, Kolélas spurned a government offer of dialogue Pro-Kolélas rebels unsuccessfully attempted to seize Brazzaville in December 1998, and Kolélas, who was in the United States at the time, claimed that his forces were effectively in control of the city, while suggesting that he might return home to lead the country The government rejected Kolélas' claim and said that the army had the upper hand A few days later, Kolélas described the rebellion as an uprising of the youth, and he said that it had only been defeated due to intervention by Angolan troops on the side of the government

Exile and return

On May 4, 2000, Kolélas was sentenced to death in absentia by a Congolese court for illegal arrests, abductions, and rape In October 2005, he returned to Congo from exile to attend the funeral of his wife, Jacqueline; Sassou Nguesso granted Kolélas a special amnesty for the occasion on humanitarian grounds, enabling him to visit In the Bacongo district of Brazzaville, excitement led to clashes between his supporters and the police on October 13, immediately prior to his return The National Assembly unanimously adopted a law granting an amnesty to Kolélas on November 23, 2005

On behalf of his party, Kolélas signed an agreement on the creation of an electoral alliance between the MCDDI and the PCT on April 24, 2007 In the subsequent 2007 parliamentary election, Kolélas was elected to the National Assembly as the MCDDI candidate in Goma Tsé-Tsé constituency; facing two challengers, he won the seat in the first round with 8644% of the vote As the oldest Deputy in the National Assembly, he presided over the first meeting of the newly elected National Assembly, at which the bureau of the National Assembly was elected, on September 4, 2007

Reportedly suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Kolélas was hospitalized in Paris in late 2007 In 2009, he spent several months in Paris for medical treatment before dying there in the early hours of 13 November 2009 at the age of 76


  1. ^ a b c d Alain Kounzilat,""Le jeu triangulaire et dramatique au Congo"" Archived from the original on 2008-05-03 Retrieved 2008-06-24 CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown link , Kimpwanza planeteafriquecom in French
  2. ^ a b Thierry Noungou, "Parlement - Bernard Bakana Kolélas décédé ce 13 novembre à Paris" Archived March 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, 13 November 2009 in French
  3. ^ a b "Le MCDDI veut perpétuer les idées de Bernard Kolelas" in French Agence D'Information D'Afrique Centrale 19 November 2013  Missing or empty |url= help
  4. ^ Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga, Les voies du politique au Congo: essai de sociologie historique 1997, KARTHALA Editions, page 434 in French
  5. ^ Bazenguissa-Ganga, Les voies du politique au Congo: essai de sociologie historique, page 270 in French
  6. ^ Patrice Yengo, La guerre civile du Congo-Brazzaville, 1993-2002: "chacun aura sa part" 2006, KARTHALA Editions, page 62 in French
  7. ^ a b Gankama N'Siah, "Le sort des poids lourds positionnés dans les circonscriptions électorales de l'hinterland" Archived 2012-03-11 at the Wayback Machine, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, 20 June 2007 in French
  8. ^ a b c d John F Clark, "Congo: Transition and the Struggle to Consolidate", in Political Reform in Francophone Africa 1997, ed John F Clark and David E Gardinier, pages 70–75
  9. ^ a b c d Xavier Bienvenu Kitsimbou, "LA DEMOCRATIE ET LES REALITES ETHNIQUES AU CONGO", University of Nancy II, October 26, 2001, pages 104–105 in French
  10. ^ "Informations; Congo : vers un « accord de paix » " Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, L'Humanité, September 5, 1997 in French
  11. ^ "Congo: Sassou-Nguesso group rejects offer of ministerial posts", Radio France Internationale nlnewsbankcom, September 14, 1997
  12. ^ "Rebel leader rejects Congo-Brazzaville government offer", Radio France Internationale nlnewsbankcom, November 24, 1998
  13. ^ "Congo government denies rebels hold Brazzaville", BBC News, December 20, 1998
  14. ^ "Congo: Former premier says Angolan troops helped put down Brazzaville uprising", AFP nlnewsbankcom, December 23, 1998
  15. ^ a b "L’Assemblée nationale adopte la loi amnistiant Bernard Kolelas" Archived February 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, November 24, 2005 in French
  16. ^ "Deaths in Congo as ex-PM returns", BBC News, 14 October 2005
  17. ^ Willy Mbossa and Roger Ngombé, "Le MCDDI et le PCT de nouveau alliés pour gouverner ensemble" Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, April 24, 2007 in French
  18. ^ "La liste complète des députés" Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, August 11, 2007 in French
  19. ^ Gankama N'Siah, "Un mot sur les suffrages des élus du premier tour des législatives" Archived February 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, July 17, 2007 in French
  20. ^ a b "Elections législatives : les 44 élus du premier tour" Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine, Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, 2 July 2007 in French
  21. ^ "La nouvelle Assemblée nationale entre en fonction", Xinhua Jeuneafriquecom, September 5, 2007 in French
  22. ^ Joël Nsoni, "Le président Bernard Kolélas hospitalisé à Paris" Archived November 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Le Semaine Africaine, N° 2749, December 4, 2007, page 2 in French
  23. ^ "Congo: décès de l'ex-Premier ministre et maire de Brazzaville Bernard Kolélas", AFP, 13 November 2009 in French
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles David Ganao
Prime Minister of Congo-Brazzaville
Succeeded by
Position abolished

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