Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Congo: Protests are possible in Brazzaville through mid-September over electricity disruptions and oil shortages

Event

Protests denouncing recurrent power outages are possible in Brazzaville through at least mid-September. A breakdown of the Mongo Kamba 2-Mboundi high voltage line has resulted in significant power disruptions affecting the city of Brazzaville between Aug. 29-31. Several unions and civil society groups, including the Union Nationale des Operateurs Economiques du Congo, have denounced the issue as it has significantly disrupted business operations. Businesses could not resort to power generator units as the city is also currently facing oil shortages.

Prolonged outages and shortages may spur such groups to launch protests, mainly at government buildings, public squares, and major intersections in urban centers. Security forces are likely to deploy to large demonstrations; minor skirmishes are possible if police forcibly disperse gatherings.

Further disruptions to power supplies are likely in the coming days until the repairs are done. It may cause further business, transport, and communications disruptions.

Advice

Avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. Plan for electricity and oil supply disruptions. Conserve batteries and restrict cellphone use to emergencies in case of an extended power outage. Exercise caution when driving or crossing streets if traffic signals are not functioning. Only purchase fuel from legitimate retailers. Ensure adequate fuel reserves are available if long-distance driving is necessary.

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