Dossier 96.2 (provisional inventory)

This unusual archival dossier brings together of security reports from the Kouilou region covering much of the year of 1961, thus giving a debate of critical issues during the decolonization of the coastal region of the Republic of Congo. The reports are perfectly complementary to existing research on French personnel and networks maintaining their influence in the Congo and elsewhere in Africa via their participation in the security services, but allow researchers to go beyond the Eurocentric view of such research. This being said, it is most likely that the author of the reports is a local French agent, sending information both to French officials in the Congolese service and to the Congolese ministry of the interior (or to the presidency).

The files give a wide panorama of social life, in which local politics and trade union mobilization in Kouilou play a role, but are mixed with a great number of other issues, such as religious messianism and xenophobia against West African residents. The question of regional ethnicity (for the Vili group) also comes up in those discussions. Some of the reports are rather short remarks, allowing to imagine future investigation into the matters, while others come with long annexes of correspondence, immediately opening the way into in-depth analysis.

The custodial history of these files is difficult to analyse. As the reports were written by a regional agent of the security services, it is nevertheless plausible that they come from the context of the district administration of the transition phase.