Congo beefs up security ahead of Francophone Games

congo-beefs-up-security-ahead-of-francophone-games
Congo beefs up security ahead of Francophone Games

The government of Congo has announced that it has increased security measures in the capital city of Kinshasa due to concerns about the safety of athletes participating in the International Francophone Games. Isidor Kwanja, the game’s coordinator, stated that an additional 4,500 police officers, supported by state security agents, have been deployed ahead of the event. To ensure the safety of the athletes, they will be personally escorted by the police, and surveillance cameras have been installed in their accommodations.

The lack of security in Kinshasa is the latest setback for the organizers of the Jeux de la Francophonie, a 10-day event that had already been postponed for two years to meet international standards. On Tuesday, another conflict arose when the International Organisation of the Francophonie announced that its secretary general, Louise Mushikiwabo, would not be attending the games. Mushikiwabo, who previously served as the minister of foreign affairs of Rwanda, Congo’s neighbor, has a strained relationship with Congo due to allegations of Rwanda backing the M23 rebel group, which Rwanda denies. A spokesperson for Mushikiwabo stated that she had not been invited to the games, but Congolese authorities did not respond to inquiries about the issue.

Authorities in Congo have been rushing to complete the necessary infrastructure, including tracks, sports stadiums, and accommodations, in time for the July 28 start date of the games. Some participants have expressed concerns about safety in Kinshasa, where petty crime, muggings, and kidnappings for ransom are relatively common. The recent murder of an opposition spokesman has further raised doubts about the authorities’ ability to ensure the security of the games.

As a result of these concerns, both Canada’s Quebec and Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia have reduced the number of athletes participating in the games. Despite these challenges, more than 3,000 athletes from over 40 countries will still take part in the event, which is held every four years to promote the French language. The sports featured in the games include athletics, basketball, football, wrestling, and cycling.

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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