The government of the Republic of Congo will pay the medical bills of 145 people injured in a stampede at a military recruitment event, it was reported Wednesday as the country is in a day of national mourning for the 31 dead.
A crisis committee headed by the prime minister’s office said the government would also cover funeral expenses and that an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the “appalling tragedy.”
The Congolese Armed Forces Command suspended all recruitment operations in the capital, Brazzaville, until further notice following Monday night’s tragedy.
Brandon Tsetou, a young graduate who escaped the crowd that caused some victims to suffocate, said he arrived to form up in front of the Ornado stadium on Monday morning.
“According to the organizers, it was the last day. That’s why many of us decided to wait until late at night, hoping to register,” he told The Associated Press. “Some were so impatient that they had to force their way in, causing a stampede that left several dead or injured, which we regret.”
In this African country, the youth unemployment rate is 42%, according to World Bank statistics. Despite being an oil-producing country, poverty is widespread in this nation of 5.61 million people, and only 15% of those living in rural areas have access to electricity.