Tshisekedi calls for calm in DRC

2011-12-09 22:41

Kinshasa - Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi called for calm on Friday as violent protests erupted in the capital following his announcement that he rejected his election loss to incumbent Joseph Kabila.

"I ask the people to stay calm and peaceful.

""Don't be afraid... that the people are going to take to the streets and cause trouble," he said at his home in Kinshasa.

Meanwhile the United States urged the political leaders to sort out differences peacefully.

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said: “We continue to call on all Congolese political leaders and their supporters to act responsibly; to renounce violence; to resolve any disagreements they might have through peaceful dialogue and existing legal remedies."

"The government of the DRC remains responsible for providing security for the people of the Congo and any person who uses or incites violence to derail the democratic process should be held accountable."

She also called on electoral authorities to ensure the credibility of the results by exercising "maximum openness and transparency."

Delayed results from the vast African country's second democratic election gave 49% of the vote to Kabila, who has been in power since 2001.