News / USA

Congo Government Says Opposition Creates Climate of Fear

Supporters of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who has rejected results declaring President Joseph Kabila the winner, demonstrate in Brussels, December 10, 2011.
Supporters of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who has rejected results declaring President Joseph Kabila the winner, demonstrate in Brussels, December 10, 2011.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Joseph Kabila's government says the main opposition candidate is creating a climate of fear by refusing to accept the president's re-election.

Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende says opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi is acting irresponsibly by refusing to accept results that show he lost last month's vote to President Kabila.

Mr. Tshisekedi is committing a grave violation of the constitution by trying to subvert the decision of electoral authorities and declare himself president, Mende said.

The government, he added, has taken no disciplinary action against Mr. Tshisekedi, and all that is expected of the long-time opposition leader is that he respect the law like everyone else.

Congo's electoral commission Friday declared President Kabila re-elected with nearly 49 percent of the vote. Its final total gave Mr. Tshisekedi 32 percent of ballots cast.

Following those results, Mr. Tshisekedi said that the announcement was a provocation against the Congolese people, and he now considers himself president by the people's will.

Mr. Tshisekedi called on the international community to step in to avoid what he says could be “a new bloodbath on Congolese territory.”

Mende said the opposition leader's call for international action is “totally irrational.”

"What does he want the international community to do?," the minister asked. "Is this some sort of 'Hand of God' that over-rules the constitutional court and the Congolese people?"

Mendes asserted that the Congolese people did not choose him, adding that  Mr. Tshisekedi is seeking recourse through the international community because he has no other choice.

Mr. Tshisekedi's party says Congo's supreme court lacks the independence to rule fairly on electoral challenges. The opposition candidate is calling on his supporters to remain calm and await further instructions.

Some protestors burned cars in the capital's 20 May neighborhood, where heavily-armed policemen Saturday arrested several people, pushing them into unmarked vehicles and beating those who resisted. On Saturday, the situation remained tense in several cities in Congo, with sporadic gunfire erupting in the capital, Kinshasa.  

Four people have been killed in the country since Friday, when protesters and police clashed in Kinshasa following announcement of the election result.

Mr. Tshisekedi's call for calm comes at the same time that he is attacking the electoral commission and the constitution because there is no constitutional provision for politicians declaring themselves president, Mendes said. He said the opposition leader's actions violate the law and are entirely unacceptable.

Electoral commission chief Daniel Ngoy-Mulunda says the election results are no reason to “whip up the population against the established order to contest the results, or to settle scores."

Human Rights Watch says at least 18 people were killed and 100 injured in pre-election violence.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Congolese to avoid further violence.

The US State Department says Congolese authorities should complete the electoral process “with maximum openness and transparency,” calling on all political leaders and their supporters to act responsibly and resolve any disagreements through existing legal channels.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid