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Published on 14 November 2017

Exclusive: The financial acrobatics of a government walking a tightrope

Congo-B Denis Sassou Nguesso is in a very precarious economic position.

Pending the decision of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is due to decide early next year whether it is willing to lend to a debt-ridden Congo-B, Denis Sassou-Nguesso has entrusted the oil trader Lucien Ebata with the urgent task of securing funds from abroad. In a desperate quest for financing, the trader has been sounding out numerous banks and investors in Europe as well as in Russia and the Persian Gulf. Lucien Ebata is surrounded by a shadowy group of unofficial advisers who are activating their networks in Europe and Asia in the hope of being rewarded for their efforts further down the line.

An exclusive investigation by the West African Newsletter and Africa Energy Intelligence into a state in the midst of financial turmoil.

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Former Benin president Thomas Boni Yayi.
Former Benin president Thomas Boni Yayi. ©Patrick Robert - Corbis

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