Shots fired in Kinshasa

2011-12-09 21:07
Kinshasa - Shots rang out in at least two neighbourhoods of the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa after incumbent Joseph Kabila was declared the winner of the restive country's presidential election.

A correspondent said protesters set tyres on fire and threw stones at a heavy contingent of armed police in the central neighbourhood of Bandale.

Gunshots were also heard in the area and in the eastern neighbourhood of Limete, where runner-up Etienne Tshisekedi has his party headquarters.

Meanwhile the  European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton appealed for calm in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday as a dispute over the presidential election raised fears of civil unrest.

Ashton urged security forces and politicians to play their part in ensuring a "calm atmopshere" in a "crucial time for the future of the DRC," adding that any challenges to the vote should be carried out through legal channels.

Kabila was declared the winner, but Tshisekedi rejected the result and declared himself president.

The elections, just the second in the Democratic Republic of Congo since back-to-back wars from 1996 to 2003, have raised fears of fresh unrest, and Tshisekedi made a veiled threat of violence if Kabila's win was allowed to stand.

Ashton congratulated Congolese voters for their turnout but she also "noted that serious shortcomings were reported."

She urged the independent electoral commission to ensure that it acts in a transparent manner "to ensure the credibility of the results."

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

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