Congo Republic: Second Time Out

Scarcely a month ago, the Congo Republic's tiny army deposed President Alphonse Massamba-Debat, only to reinstate him 20 hours later when military leaders found no one with enough popular support to replace him. Last week the soldiers ousted the 47-year-old President again—this time, it seemed, for keeps.

The second showdown was predictable. The military, headed by its Commander in Chief, paratroop Captain Marien Ngouabi, had been steadily whittling away at Massamba-Debat's powers ever since his return to the presidential palace in Brazzaville on Aug. 4. The army's apparent aim was to steer the Congo from a...

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