Opposition supporters protest after Congo restricts public meetings

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Opposition supporters protested in Brazzaville on Tuesday after the government banned public meetings before a weekend referendum on constitutional reform that critics say is a ploy by President Denis Sassou Nguesso to prolong his grip on power.

“In order to allow the electoral campaign to continue without injury or provocation, the government has decided to forbid the use of certain meeting spaces,” Raymond Zephyrin Mboulou, communication minister, said in a statement.