Thousands of women march for peace in Congo

President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso speaks in Washington, DC, on August 1, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

Brazzaville (AFP) - Thousands of women staged a march for peace in the Republic of Congo's capital Brazzaville Sunday as pressure builds over mooted constitutional changes that would pave the way for the president to extend his hold on power.

"Confronted with differing opinions due to (possible) changes to the constitution, we thought we had to warn, try to inform and alert our brothers and our politicians that women want peace," said Ines Ingani, an organiser.

Organisers said they expected 13,500 people at the march, but police figures put the turnout at somewhere over half that number.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso, one of Africa's longest serving leaders, is constitutionally mandated to step down in 2016 when the second of his two most recent terms in office ends.

Under the constitution in place since 2002 he is not allowed to stand for election again.

However, his party has asked for a revision of the constitution in the oil-rich nation that would allow him to seek another term in the next elections. 2009.