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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid