Bishops fear DRC factions to collide

2011-12-04 16:36
Kinshasa - Catholic bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday sounded the alarm over the political situation, saying it was like "a train going toward a wall" as the country awaits election results.

Tensions have been running high following Monday's national polls, after President Joseph Kabila's main rival, veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, said he rejected the early results.

Meanwhile, Kabila's coalition vowed to quash any unrest.

"We have the impression that in the current situation, the image we've given is that of a high-speed train going straight toward a wall," Bishop Nicolas Djombo, president of the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo, told a press conference in Kinshasa.

"We call on all political actors, on all leaders to brake the train, which risks going straight into the wall."

The church deployed some 30 000 observers to monitor the elections, covering 24 percent of the almost 64 000 polling centres.

Djombo said that despite incidents of "irregularities, fraud attempts and violence," the elections had been credible overall.

The central African nation's elections commission is due to announce the provisional winner of the presidential race on Tuesday. The supreme court is then scheduled to give the final result on December 17.

Fears of new violence are widespread after an election day marred by rebel attacks and rioting, and a campaign that saw deadly police crackdowns and repeated clashes between Kabila's and Tshisekedi's supporters.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  etienne tshisekedi  |  drc  |  central africa  |  drc elections

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