UN 'concerned' about DRC vote

2011-12-03 14:37

New York - The UN Security Council raised concerns on Friday about "difficulties" in the Democratic Republic Congo presidential vote amid heightened tensions as the country awaits the result.

While praising the large turnout for showing "strong commitment to democracy" in the African nation, the 15-member body "noted with concern the level of logistical and technical difficulties" during Monday's vote.

The council reminded all political leaders that "they are responsible for ensuring a fair and peaceful process," in a statement released after a briefing on the election.

"They insisted that all candidates should maintain a calm and peaceful environment, exercise restraint, await the results that will be declared in accordance with national constitutional procedures and resolve their differences peacefully."

Incumbent Joseph Kabila and veteran opposition head Etienne Tshisekedi led the 11 candidates for the presidency, according to early results.

Adding to the charged atmosphere, Human Rights Watch said 18 civilians were killed in political violence in the days before the vote, with most shot dead by government security forces in the capital.