Congo Republic: To Burn, to Bury or to Hang?

It was a performance worthy of Fidel Castro after the Bay of Pigs. The room in Brazzaville's presidential palace was crowded with reporters and armed militia youths. Handcuffed to a chair was a terrified prisoner of war. Behind a table piled high with machine guns, hand grenades, plastic bombs, pistols and ammunition, stood President Alphonse Massamba-Debat, the picture of triumphant rage. "A commando group of 32 men landed at Brazzaville on the night of July 14," he announced. "Their mission was to assassinate your government leaders."

Where had they come from? Leopoldville,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!