Pro-Government Militias

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Cobras (Congo Brazzaville)

Name assigned by coder: no
PGM ID Number: 56
Country: Congo Brazzaville
Date formed: Oct. 25, 1997
Details of Formation: General Denis Sassou Nguesso lost power in elections in 1992, and built up the cobras as a private army. He employed them in 1997 (with the support of Angolan regular forces) to oust Lissouba. Thus prior to 1997, the cobras were not a pgag but became so after Nguesso tdeclared himself president on 25 October 1997.
Date dissolved: Nov. 1, 2000
Details of Termination: After the end of the civil war in December 1999, a UNDP/IOM programme for the "Reintegration of Ex-Combatants and Collection of Light Weapons" facilitated the exchange of weapons for civilian jobs, starting in November 2000. According to one source, more than 7.500 ex-combantants made use of this scheme. We use this as the end date of the PGAG, since there is also no evidence suggestion that the group continued to exist after that date.
Successor group(s): none
Private Military Company? no
Government Relation: type1
Government Link(s): person/minister
Training and Equipment no information
Shared Information and Joint Operations yes
Shared personnel no information
Types of Material Support: Foreign government
State Sponsor(s): Angola
Other Connection(s):
Membership: ethnic; children
Location: Brazzaville, Pool, Pointe Noire
Force Strength: [unknown, 10000]
Target(s): civilians; unarmed political opposition, government critics; rebels, insurgents, or other armed group; ethnic group
Purpose(s): protect state, national or religious leader(s); protect national borders and integrity
Other Information: to fight insurgent groups