DRC's Tshisekedi takes 'presidential oath'

2011-12-24 11:55

kalahari.com

Kinshasa - Democratic Republic of Congo opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi, who rejects Joseph Kabila's re-election as president, had himself "sworn in" at his home on Friday as police clashed with his supporters.

Tshisekedi, 79, who came second in the November 28 poll, defied a police ban on his "inauguration", which had been planned for a football stadium in the capital where police fired teargas to prevent the planned ceremony.

With armoured vehicles of the Republican Guard and large forces of police mobilised at the stadium, the event was moved to Tshisekedi's Kinshasa home, where police also used tear gas on supporters and officials of his Union for Democracy and Social Progress gathered outside.

"It's banned. There is already an elected president who has been sworn in. We cannot have another swearing-in. It's an act of subversion," a source close to the head of the country's police said.

"Such a rally would be destabilising for the regime in place," the source added of the event planned for Martyr's Stadium.

Tshisekedi took the oath on a Bible after his chief of staff Albert Moleka read a statement claiming that "today puts an indelible mark on the history of our country which has passed from dictatorship via the oligarchy of Kabila and his followers to real democracy."

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende promptly dismissed the ceremony as a farce and a non-event, as well as "an insult to oath taking".

"The head of state only takes the oath before a supreme court," he said. "Did you see a supreme court judge?"

Meanwhile, the country's communications minister Lambert Mende said the signal of Radio France International (RFI) was cut several times since late on Thursday as it was broadcasting news about Tshisekedi's planned "swearing-in".

Mende blasted RFI for becoming "a mouthpiece for the UDPS," Tshisekedi's party.

Kabila, who has been in power since January 2001, took nearly 49% of the vote in last month's election, with Tshisekedi coming second with 32%.

Kabila was officially sworn-in at a ceremony in Kinshasa on Tuesday.

Tshisekedi contends he was denied victory by massive fraud.

Hundreds of Tshisekedi supporters demonstrated in Antwerp Friday against the reelection of Kabila, whom they accuse of cheating in the polls.

The government on Thursday pledged to probe alleged post-vote police killings, as Human Rights Watch said security forces killed at least 24 people and "arbitrarily" arrested dozens since Kabila's disputed victory was announced December 9.

Justice Minister Emmanuel Luzolo Bambi told AFP his office would work with Human Rights Watch to try to document each case in the report, and that he had already spoken with prosecutors.

"If the allegations are verified, the justice department will take action," he said.

According to Human Rights Watch, all but four of those in its report died in Kinshasa between December 9 and 14. Two more were killed in eastern Nord Kivu province, and two in central Kasai Occidental.

HRW said it also documented an attack where youths in the capital stoned a priest, who later died of his injuries.

Since Kabila's victory was announced, "security forces have been firing on small crowds, apparently trying to prevent protests against the result," HRW senior Africa researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg said.

After interviewing 86 victims and witnesses of violence, the US-based human rights watchdog said it had dozens of unconfirmed reports of killings and attacks by security forces.

Kabila's victory was upheld even after international observers decried electoral conditions, citing problems in the vote count and the loss of huge numbers of ballots.

HRW said that "police and other security forces appear to be covering up the scale of the killings by quickly removing the bodies."

It singled out the police and Kabila's presidential guard for blame.

"The UN and Congo's international partners should urgently demand that the government rein in its security forces."

London-based rights group Amnesty International earlier denounced what it said was a wave of political arrests, notably of opposition activists, since the elections.

 

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

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Food
 

The most extreme journey ever?

One man is sailing around the world in a beach cat - no cabin to sleep in and no GPS.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!
Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being challenged...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.