Tag Archives: Congo

Ebola treatment center in Congo reopens after attack

Ebola treatment center in Congo reopens after attackAn Ebola treatment center located at the epicenter of the current outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has resumed operations after it was attacked last month, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday. The center run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in the district of Katwa was set on fire on Feb. 24 by unknown attackers, forcing staff to evacuate patients. “For now it is managed by the ministry in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF,” it said, referring to the United Nations children’s fund.



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Congo opposition leader declares himself president as court upholds election result

Congo opposition leader declares himself president as court upholds election resultCongo's political standoff deepend on Sunday after the top court backed the contested presidential election victory of Felix Tshisekedi, then his main rival rejected the ruling, called for protests and declared himself leader. As Mr Tshisekedi's supporters celebrated the ruling in the streets of Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, runner-up Martin Fayulu said the decision had opened the way to a “constitutional coup d'etat”, raising fears of more violence. Rwandan President Paul Kagame – the chair of the African Union which has said it has “serious concerns” about the vote and called for the results to be delayed – was due to arrive in Kinshasa with an AU delegation to discuss the crisis on Monday. Last month's delayed election was meant to mark the first democratic transfer of power in the vast central African country, where conflicts have regularly destabilised the region. Felix Tshisekedi, leader of Congolese main opposition party, the UDPS Credit:  BAZ RATNER But monitors pointed to major flaws in the poll. Unrest over the vote has already killed 34 people, wounded 59 and led to 241 “arbitrary arrests” in the past week, according to the U.N. human rights office. In the early hours of Sunday, the Constitutional Court ruled that a legal challenge to the result filed by Fayulu was inadmissible. “Felix Tshisekedi will become the fifth president of the republic,” government spokesman Lambert Mende said as he welcomed the judgement. Mr Fayulu issued statements dismissing the ruling. “The constitutional court has just confirmed that it serves a dictatorial regime … by validating false results, (and enabling) a constitutional coup d'etat,” he said in one. “I am now considering myself as the sole legitimate President of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he added in another statement. He called for people to mount peaceful demonstrations – though the streets of the capital were calm on Sunday afternoon. Mr Fayulu says Mr Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila made a deal to cheat him out of a more than 60-percent win – an accusation they both dismiss. The provisional results, announced on Jan. 10, showed Mr Tshisekedi winning with a slim margin over Fayulu. In a speech, Mr Tshisekedi welcomed the victory and said he would seek to mend divisions in the country. “This is the end of one fight and the start of another in which I will enlist all the Congolese people: a fight for well-being, for a Congo that wins,” he said. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a bloc which includes South Africa and Angola, congratulated Tshisekedi and called for a peaceful transfer of power. “SADC calls upon all Congolese to accept the outcome, and consolidate democracy and maintain a peaceful and stable environment following the landmark elections,” it said. On Thursday, SADC eased pressure on Congolese authorities by backing off earlier calls for a recount. Independent monitors flagged major problems with the election, including faulty voting machines and polling stations where many were unable to vote. The Catholic Church, which had a 40,000-strong team of observers, denounced the provisional result. A tally from the church reviewed by Reuters from about 70 percent of polling stations suggested a victory of 62 percent for Mr Fayulu, a former Exxon Mobil country manager.  MrTshisekedi and Mr Ramazani were virtually neck-and-neck second place with 16.93 percent and 16.88 percent, respectively. Congo – which was ruled by kleptocratic dictator Mobutu Sese Seko for 32 years before tumbling into chaos and war in the late 1990s – is a vital source of copper and other metals, including cobalt.



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US deploys troops to Congo as fears of violence mount over election count delays

US deploys troops to Congo as fears of violence mount over election count delaysThe United States has deployed troops to Central Africa amid rising fears of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the country prepares to declare the result of last week’s presidential election. Donald Trump confirmed he was forward-deploying "appropriate combat equipment" and some 80 soldiers to neighbouring Gabon to be on standby to protect US citizens and diplomatic missions. The DR Congo voted on November 30 in a long-delayed election to replace President Joseph Kabila who has ruled the vast, conflict-ridden country for almost 18 years. The contest pitted Mr Kabila's handpicked successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary against two opposition candidates: veteran heavyweight Felix Tshisekedi and newcomer Martin Fayulu. Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, Former Congolese Interior Minister and presidential candidate Credit: Reuters Although election day itself was relatively peaceful, tensions have mounted over the lengthy counting process, with many fearing the result could be manipulated in Shadary's favour and with any delay likely to further exacerbate the situation. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) had said it would release preliminary results today, followed by a definitive count on January 15, but by last Thursday only 20 per cent of result has been collected, raising fears of delays. The last two elections in 2006 and 2011, both of which were won by Kabila, were marred by bloodshed, and many fear a repeat of the violence if the results are put in doubt. With international concerns growing over the transfer of power in sub-Saharan Africa's largest nation of 80 million people, Western powers have upped pressure on Kinshasa to ensure the vote count is accurate and transparent. Martin Fayulu, Congolese joint opposition presidential candidate Credit: Reuters "The Democratic Republic of Congo is at a historic moment toward a democratic transition," the European Union said, urging the authorities "to ensure the upcoming results conform with the Congolese people's vote". Washington has also urged Kinshasa to release "accurate" results and warned of sanctions against anyone seeking to "undermine the democratic process" in the former Belgian colony. The African Union, which deployed an 80-member team to monitor the vote, also said that respect for voters' wishes was "crucial". Although the UN Security Council met late on Friday to discuss the election, it did not issue a concluding statement. It will hold another meeting on the issue on Tuesday. The DR Congo's powerful Catholic Church, which deployed more than 40,000 observers to monitor the elections, on Thursday said it knew who had won the vote urging the electoral commission to publish the results "in keeping with truth and justice". But the ruling coalition, the FCC, angrily rebuffed the church's statement, accusing CENCO of "seriously breaching" the constitution and electoral law by "illegally declaring voting trends" in favour of a given candidate.



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Congo election results delayed past Sunday deadline

Congo election results delayed past Sunday deadlineThe commission, known as CENI, had received only 47 percent of vote tally sheets as of Saturday, said its president, Corneille Nangaa, and it was not yet clear when the results would be ready. The delay is the latest setback in a disorganized poll to pick a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the country of 80 million people since his father was assassinated in 2001. The Dec. 30 vote could mark Congo’s first democratic transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.



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US sends troops for possible 'violent' Congo vote protests

US sends troops for possible 'violent' Congo vote protestsKINSHASA, Congo (AP) — On the eve of the first expected results of Congo's long-delayed presidential election, President Donald Trump said military personnel had deployed to Central Africa to protect U.S. assets from possible "violent demonstrations," while the country's powerful Catholic church warned of a popular "uprising" if untrue results are announced.



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UN Security Council meets on DR Congo vote

UN Security Council meets on DR Congo voteThe UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Friday to discuss the elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo as world powers awaited results. France requested the meeting as the European Union and the African Union urged DR Congo authorities to respect the outcome of the December 30 vote. Election results were initially scheduled to be released on Sunday but could be delayed.



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AP Explains: Why groundbreaking Congo vote could stumble

AP Explains: Why groundbreaking Congo vote could stumbleJOHANNESBURG (AP) — Rich in the minerals that power the world's mobile phones and laptops, yet desperately underdeveloped, Congo votes on Sunday for its first new president in nearly two decades. This could be the sprawling country's first peaceful, democratic transfer of power.



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Election fears dim Christmas cheer in Congo

Election fears dim Christmas cheer in CongoLast week the opposition accepted the authorities’ decision to push the long-anticipated vote back by seven days, but have warned of mass protest and upheaval if there is a further delay. In a Christmas sermon delivered on Monday in the cathedral of Notre Dame du Congo in Kinshasa, Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo said lasting peace depended on the authorities sticking to their electoral promises. “To have real peace today in our country we must have elections on the set date of December 30 2018,” he said.



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Congo archbishop urges peace at Christmas Eve midnight mass

Congo archbishop urges peace at Christmas Eve midnight massKINSHASA, Congo (AP) — An appeal for peace during Congo's tense, volatile election period was issued at a Christmas Eve midnight mass in Kinshasa.



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EU renews Congo sanctions ahead of presidential election

EU renews Congo sanctions ahead of presidential electionThe decision is likely to worsen relations between the EU and President Joseph Kabila’s government, which has lobbied against sanctions it calls an illegal violation of its sovereignty. Kabila has also refused to accredit EU election observers despite concerns by opposition politicians, civil society activists and foreign powers about the credibility of the Dec. 23 vote. Shadary served as interior minister during some of the protests and as a senior official in Kabila’s PPRD party.



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