The government of Congo has recently disclosed that 37 individuals lost their lives in a stampede occurring during an army recruitment event at Brazzaville’s Michel D’Ornano stadium. Various accounts suggest that the tragedy unfolded as people attempted to breach the gates.
On the 16th of November, the Congolese military declared its intention to enlist approximately 2,000 individuals aged between 18 and 25. In an official statement, President Felix Tshisekedi of Congo mentioned that numerous individuals sustained injuries during the panic.
Although not specifying an exact figure, he declared that Prime Minister Anatole Makosso would establish a crisis unit to probe the incident and ensure accountability for those responsible.
As per a report from the Associated Press, approximately 2,500 individuals have been documented at the recruitment centers to date. The news agency emphasized that with youth unemployment standing at 42 percent, many young Congolese view the army as a means to obtain employment, citing it as the primary reason.
The African country is currently grappling with an economic crisis, compelling thousands of Congolese to migrate to Europe or other neighboring nations.
In a press briefing, Congo’s public prosecutor, Oko Ngakala, informed journalists that the government would address the families of the individuals who lost their lives in the extensive stampede. He additionally expressed the government’s pride in the younger generations’ enthusiasm to contribute to the nation by joining its armed forces.
In a conversation, Adelard Bondo, an official from the morgue, stated that family members had officially identified 33 bodies. He emphasized the importance for every Congolese to honor the memory of the young individuals who tragically lost their lives.
He further clarified that the occurrence was accidental and not incited by anyone. Bondo went on to state that the incident is a consequence of the nation’s economic crisis and the urgent quest of the younger generation to secure employment.