President Sassou Nguesso appoints former opposition leader as PM

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Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso has named former opposition leader Clement Mouamba as prime minister, one month after his re-election to the presidency.

The Congolese voters elected Nguesso for another five-year term in office to extend his rule over the oil producing country.

President Nguesso led Congo between 1979 and 1992, before returning to power after a civil war in 1997.

The new prime minister was once a senior member of the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy but was expelled from the opposition party for participating in consultations that preceded a referendum last October on changing the constitution to allow President Nguesso to serve a third term.

“I have no complex about coming to greet the head of state, the head of the village. Whatever the nature of the problems, I take responsibility for what I have done,” he said at the time.

The central African country has been gripped by political violence since the election. Human rights group Amnesty International said on Monday the government bombed residential areas in the country’s south, reportedly killing at least 30 people.

There was no immediate comment from the government, which has in the past denied targeting civilians.

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