Congo Will Pay 3 Million Francs to Blast Victims’ Families

Republic of Congo will build 5,000 new homes and pay 3 million CFA francs ($6,000) to the families of victims of the March 4 explosion at an arms depot in the capital, Brazzaville, in which at least 250 people died, Planning Minister Pierre Moussa said.

“A living allowance of 3 million CFA will be paid by the government to each family of the victims,” Moussa told parliament in a broadcast today on state-owned TeleCongo. “This has nothing to do with compensation, the details of which will be determined later.”

The new homes will be built 25 kilometers (16 miles) north of Brazzaville in Kintele, government spokesman Bienvenu Okiemy said on state-owned Radio Congo today. The government will also expedite the building of 1,000 new housing units already under construction “to respond to the housing demand of our affected compatriots,” Okiemy said.

More than 2,315 people were injured in the blast and 13,854 people have been left homeless, Moussa said. The explosion occurred when a short circuit set alight a cache of armaments, some of which were slated for destruction, according to the government. Congo is Africa’s fourth-largest oil producer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Mbakouo in Brazzaville via Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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