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Bringing justice to victims of international crimes

Emmanuel Avoukou

Acquitted on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity
Chief of General Staff of the Republican Guard

Emmanuel Avoukou was Chief of General Staff of the Republican Guard at the time of the allegations.

In the affair known as Brazzaville Beach (the name given to the river port of Brazzaville), the following facts were established according to Congolese courts. During the years 1998-1999, Brazzaville and its surroundings were prey to multiple conflicts which pitted the regular troops of the Congolese armed forces against politico-military groups known as the Ninjas. These non international conflicts led to the exodus of many people to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In order to put an end to the multiple sufferings being endured by the Congolese refugees in the DRC, the governments of the two Congos and the High Commissioner for Refugees concluded a tripartite agreement aimed at facilitating the voluntary repatriation of those Congolese forced into exile as a result of the armed violence. With this agreement in mind, between 5 and 14 May 1999, 6599 refugees coming from Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, voluntarily decided to cross the river Congo, towards Brazzaville Beach. According to several witnesses, the security disposition set up to receive them at the Brazzaville port was made up of several diverse undisciplined military units. As a consequence, after police formalities were accomplished, certain of these refugees, for unexplainable reasons, were detained, many of them to disappear without trace even until today.

According to the indictment, at the river port known as Beach and the Yoro, these refugees, were split up into separate groups: soldiers, women, able bodied-and especially young- men. The latter were reportedly, taken out of the line-up, to be led off to premises at the Brazzaville Beach before being subsequently transferred to secret locations from which, thereafter, they simply disappeared. From sources close to the relatives of the victims, those missing persons were said to have been transferred to the Headquarters for Military Intelligence (French acronym DRM) and to the Presidential Palace in the Plateau district, in the town centre. The DRM subsequently informed the relatives of those missing that they had detained only the soldiers who had been intercepted at the Beach.

Emmanuel Avoukou was indicted on 7 July 2004.

Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Fact sheet

Congo-Brazzaville 2013 Congo Brazzaville 05.05.1999  - 14.05.1999 19.07.2005  - 17.08.2005
War crimes
Crimes against humanity

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