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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs