On Wednesday, July 15, authorities in Brazzaville banned a planned protest in support of Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, an opposition figure imprisoned in 2018, citing the risk of propagation of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The protest, scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 16, was to demand the release of Mokoko on compassionate grounds. The former general, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2018, has been hospitalized for the last two weeks and is believed to be gravely ill. A strong security presence was reported in Brazzaville on Thursday to dissuade any protest activity.
Further protests, as well as associated localized traffic disruptions and a heightened security presence, are likely in the near term.
Those in Brazzaville are advised to avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings due to the risk of exposure to potential crowd disturbances, incidental violence, and crowd dispersal operations by security forces. Travelers should monitor developments, maintain a low profile, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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