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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
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.

AppleAndroid