UN Security Council meets on Congo election

Yolanda Curtis
January 5, 2019

The combat troops and supporting military aircraft would provide security to U.S. citizens, personnel and diplomatic facilities in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, should the need arise.

Trump said the troops "will remain in the region until the security situation ... becomes such that their presence is no longer needed", and that he may deploy additional forces to Gabon "if necessary".

The SADC's qualified endorsement countered allegations by opposition candidates that the December 30 vote was marred by widespread irregularities and criticism by a senior USA lawmaker that the election was "neither free nor fair".

The retort sets up a standoff between the government and the Catholic Church, one of Congo's most powerful institutions which represents about 40 percent of its 80 million people.

The election commission, CENI, has scheduled to announce the provisional results on Sunday, followed by the definitive results on 15 January and inauguration of the next president three days later.

"This being a very sensitive, a very tense period, we are concerned that these efforts to silence dissent could backfire considerably when the results are announced", Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters in Geneva.

The government says the election was fair and went smoothly. It also said that 27 per cent of polling stations opened late and that 18 per cent had problems with malfunctioning electronic voting machines.

Pre-election polling showed Kabila's preferred candidate, ex-interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, trailing the main opposition candidates, Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi, but both sides say they expect to win.

The United States was deeply concerned by the DRC's National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) decision to deny accreditation to several worldwide election observers and media representatives, it said.

France's Ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre, says the fact that the world organisation's powerhouse is meeting on the subject means it's keeping a close watch on vote counting in the DRC.

The council will hold a public meeting on Tuesday to again discuss the elections.

Meanwhile, vote counting continued slowly by hand at more than 175 compilation centres around the country.

Observers reported irregularities amid the balloting.

Nshole spoke at a presentation of a preliminary report on the election by CENO's monitoring team, the Electoral Observation Mission of the Peace and Justice Commission.

Other reports by iNewsToday