News / Africa

Congo on Edge While Election Results Delayed

In the dusty markets of Goma, locals say they will personally reject election results that include a win for incumbent president Joseph Kabila, but they may not protest for fear of attack from armed troops.
In the dusty markets of Goma, locals say they will personally reject election results that include a win for incumbent president Joseph Kabila, but they may not protest for fear of attack from armed troops.
Heather Murdock

With almost 90 percent of polling places reporting, Congolese President Joseph Kabila appears to have won another five years in office with nearly half the vote.

But the country will not know officially until Thursday due to a 48 hour delay in the release of final results. 

Police in black body-armour, wielding AK-47s, are still stationed outside the local university here in Goma. A day earlier, they were standing at attention, eyes darting, waiting for signs of trouble.  Today, they look bored and some lounge under trees.

December 6, the day the Democratic Republic of Congo was supposed to learn who would be their next president, has come and gone, and the security crisis this vast nation was bracing for is still pending.

Human Rights Watch says at least 18 people were killed and 100 injured in violence leading up to the November 28 vote.

Opposition leaders have promised mass protests if President Kabila is declared the winner. And many fear the entire nation could descend back into the conflict that has engulfed this land for decades.

Freddy Nguliko, Goma deputy secretary for the party of opposition candidate Vital Kamerhe.
Freddy Nguliko, Goma deputy secretary for the party of opposition candidate Vital Kamerhe.


Freddy Nguliko is the deputy secretary for the party of opposition candidate Vital Kamerhe. In preliminary results, he is third in the winner take all national race, but very popular locally.  He says election fraud and bad counting practices are likely to produce results that don’t reflect the will of the people.

Nguliko says the president will have to become a dictator to rule the country without the support of the people.  He blames the international community for witnessing the elections and urging calm, rather than a new vote.  He says international observers seem to support the president, not peace.

Local leaders in support of Etienne Tshisekedi, the most popular opposition candidate of the 11-man race, say they have already concluded the vote was rigged and are prepared to take to the street at the orders of the man they call their ‘president.’  Tshisekedi currently trails Kabila with 33 percent of the vote.

In the markets in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, a troubled eastern province still reeling from war, sellers say they want to hear the results -- but only if the results are what they want.  In this impoverished city, it is easy to find people on the street calling for change.  

Fred Kagerwe, 25, who sells used cell phones from a rickety wooden stand, says the people of Goma are fed up.

“I need first of all peace in Congo. After peace, I need work. After that, we need to find good leadership who can help every people in Congo.”

Like his fellow sellers, Kagerwe says if Kabila is declared the winner, he will personally declare the election a fake. But when asked if he plans to protest the results in the streets, Kagerwe eyes a soldier, heavily armed and watching the roads for any sign of trouble.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid