News24

DRC faces electoral standoff

2011-12-10 12:01

Kinshasa - The DRC faced a tense electoral standoff on Saturday after incumbent Joseph Kabila was named the winner of last week's polls and rival Etienne Tshisekedi rejected the results, declaring himself president.

After the election commission said Kabila had won the November 28 polls with 49% of the vote to 32% for Tshisekedi, violent protests erupted in several neighbourhoods of the capital Kinshasa.

Protesters set cars and piles of tyres on fire and threw stones at police, who used teargas and fired shots in the air.

Some looting was reported in several neighbourhoods, and at least one person was shot and wounded.

But a heavy security force presence - police and presidential guards had been out in force all week, and 20 000 soldiers were on standby at military bases - put down the initial protests and stopped them from spreading.

There were no reports of major violence overnight, and downtown looked calm early on Saturday morning. The charred remains of the previous day's fires dotted the northwest of the city, but the streets were nearly empty except for police and soldiers.

Protests also broke out Friday in the central city of Kananga, a Tshisekedi stronghold, but as in Kinshasa police quashed initial demonstrations, according to reports.

Analysts had warned that the elections, just the second since back-to-back wars from 1996 to 2003, risked unleashing new violence in the vast central African country.

Comments
  • Rulani - 2011-12-10 12:30

    THE MAIN OPPOSITION IN DRC MUST'BE INVISTIGATED' U CANT DECLARE UR SELF A WINNER BEFORE THE COMMISION ;ANOTHER HAGUE ;OR BEMBA

  • Mbadu - 2011-12-10 12:49

    YES ETIENNE IS WINNER OF NOVEMBER 28 ELECTION

      Willy Widikin A Kapan - 2011-12-10 13:23

      I would say,it is the bigest mistake of more than 50 yrs of his political career he ever made...now he is done!

  • Norah - 2011-12-10 15:01

    no, @Mbadu, etienne is not the winner!Kabila is and you owe it to yourself and your compatriots to give him all your support in his development efforts. And what's this vilifying of Kabila because he does not speak Lingala and is fluent in KiSwahili? For heaven's sake the man and his twin sister grew up in Tanzania, where there wasn't a significant Congolese exile community. Even I don't speak any of my country's local languages, let alone my mother tongue, because I grew up in exile! For crying out loud, leave the language debate out of politics, it's a non-starter and childish to say the least!

  • Sam - 2011-12-10 18:39

    Im worried about SANDF based in DRC in terms of the money spend on them, my observations on this it seems the war is refreshed until we dont know. I will consider Africa to form a Continental Peace Keeping Force to relieve SA from this heavy costs. DRC is a very beautiful country, rich in mineral resources that can boasts the economy of africa other than being left out to these war lords who are bank rolled by west Imperialists who are more concern about destabilising our continent in order to buy our products cheap

  • Kally - 2011-12-10 19:12

    we will support Etienne Tshisekedi a true leader, not a dictator who can not even rally 1000 pepole without giving them money, a dictator put in power but western under the word democracy. kabila is a cheater, a frauder.

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