Lorry Drivers On Strike In Northern Congo

Panafrican News Agency, 31 January 2000

Brazzaville, Congo—Lorry drivers in northern Congo have gone on an indefinite strike since Sunday to protest against cumbersome military and police roadblocks along the National Road 2 between Brazzaville the country's rural north.

They are also protesting the sporadic inhumane treatment meted out to them by soldiers and policemen.

We are handled roughly and asked to pay a lot of money at each roadblock, said Jerome Loembe, an official of lorry drivers' leadership, in a Radio Congo interview Monday morning.

According to the radio, lorry drivers are obliged to pay between 5,000 CFA francs and 8,000 CFA francs at each roadblock.

There exist 30 military and police roadblocks between Brazzaville and Djambala, a town 350 km north-west of the capital.

Military and police officers are very reluctant to remove the roadblocks which have become a major source of income for them.