Pygmies' life under threat

2010-11-10 10:55

Brazzaville - A forum opened Tuesday in Congo-Brazzaville's capital aimed at drawing attention to the plight of the country's pygmy groups, whose ancient nomadic way of life is under threat.

The forum, which will include films, debates and exhibitions, focuses on the culture of the Aka people, a pygmy group living in the far north of the country, said organisers from a local association promoting pygmy rights.

"The Aka people are one of Congo's riches. Their lifestyle, customs, and traditions are a real asset...," said Pierre Julien, a director of the French Cultural Centre in Brazzaville, one of the forum's co-sponsors.

Pygmy people, whose average height is abnormally low, make up around 10% of Congo's population of 3.6 million. They live a nomadic existence in the great forests of central Africa but have come under threat from development, migration and warfare.