253/02 Antonie Bissangou / Congo Summary of Facts 1. On March 14th, 1995 the complainant brought a case against the Republic of Congo and the Municipal Office of Brazzaville before the Court of First Instance of Brazzaville, sitting on civil matters, with a view to obtaining the recognition of the responsibility of the Congolese Republic, as well as reparation for the damage caused to his personal property and real estate following barbaric acts carried out by soldiers, armed bands and uncontrolled elements of the Congolese National Police Force, during the socio-political upheavals that took place in the country in 1993. 2. On February 18th 1997 the civil division of the Court of First Instance passed a ruling ordering the Congolese Republic and the Municipal Office of Brazzaville to pay the following amounts: Principal amount for all the damage caused: 180,000,000.00 FCFA Damages: 15,000,000.00 FCFA Amount representing legal costs: 7,000.00 FCFA Total amount: 195,037,000.00 FCFA That is the equivalent of 297,333.98 euros, the whole being immediately enforceable. 3. On March 19th 1997, the ruling became legally binding and a certificate of no-appeal was issued to the complainant (see file). 4. In a letter dated May 20th 1999, the Minister of Justice asked the Minister of Economy, Finance and Budget of Congo to enforce the ruling. However, in a letter dated December 30th 1999, the Minister of Economy, Finance and Budget refused to execute the ruling, for no apparent reason. Complaint 5. The complainant alleges the violation of violates Articles 2, 3, 21(2) of the African Charter. The complainant is asking the African Commission to recommend to the Republic of Congo Brazzaville to comply with the ruling which has been passed on behalf of the Congolese people, and to comply at the same time with the provisions of the Charter to which it is signatory. Procedure 6. The complaint was received by the Secretariat of the African Commission on 27th June 2002. 7. On 1st August 2002, the Secretariat wrote to the complainant informing him that the complaint was registered and that it would be considered at the [African] Commission's 32nd Ordinary Session, which was scheduled to take place from 17th to 31st October 2002 in Banjul, The Gambia. 8. At its 32nd Ordinary Session held from 17th to 23rd October 2002 in Banjul, The Gambia, the African Commission considered the Complaint and decided to be seized thereof. 9. On October 30th, 2002 the Secretariat communicated the above decision to the Parties and requested them to submit in writing, their observations on the matter of exhaustion of local remedies. The Secretariat also sent a copy of the communication to the Respondent State. 10. The Complainant sent his comments on admissibility to the Secretariat in a letter dated 17th December 2002. 11. On 24th March 2003, a reminder was sent by Note Verbale to the Respondent State, requesting its comments on admissibility to be sent to the Secretariat of the [African] Commission. 12. On 25th March 2003, the Secretariat sent the Complainant's observations to the Respondent State and reminded the latter to send its observations concerning the exhaustion of local remedies before the 15th April 2003. 13. During the 33rd Ordinary Session held from 15th to 29th May 2003 in Niamey, Niger, the African Commission considered the communication and deferred its decision on admissibility to the 34th Ordinary Session. The Parties were requested to send further information on the procedure to be followed for the recovery of the debt. 14. On 23rd June 2003, the Secretariat informed the Parties of this decision and requested the Respondent State to submit its observations on the admissibility of the communication within three (3) months from the date of the receipt of this Note, and to include the details of Congo's legislation on the matter of debt 1

Select target paragraph3