News / Africa

East Congo Opposition to Protest Kabila Election

At his home in one of Goma's many slums, Felix Badila says he supports the opposition, but he will not join protests he fears will become violent.
At his home in one of Goma's many slums, Felix Badila says he supports the opposition, but he will not join protests he fears will become violent.
Heather Murdock

Opposition leaders in eastern Congo are planning to protest the disputed re-election of President Joseph Kabila beginning Tuesday morning.  And while organizers say the protests will be peaceful, some opposition supporters say they fear rallies will spark violence.

Protesters around the world, and in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, have been holding rallies since before the November 28 vote that opposition leaders called a "mock election."

Tuesday, opposition supporters in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, a war-torn eastern province, plan to march on the electoral commission and the governor’s office.   Protesters say they will demand the government recognize the authority of Etienne Tshisekedi, the self-proclaimed elected president of Congo.

Rubens Mikindo is a leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party in Goma.  It is the party of Mr. Tshisekedi, who finished second in the official ballot count, with 32 percent of the vote.  Mr. Kabila won with 49 percent.

Mikindo says the police and local authorities are prepared for the rally, and protesters will be protected by the considerable show of military might already on the streets of Goma.

He says supporters of Mr. Tshisekedi will be joined by members of the Union for the Nation of Congo, the party of Vital Kamerhe, who came in third in the presidential race with 7.7 percent of the vote.  Other, smaller parties will take part as well.  Mikindo says protesters have been instructed to be peaceful, and not damage any properties.  He says does not know how many people may attend.

Other opposition officials say despite their non-violent intentions there is no guarantee the day will end without incident.  They say rallies will continue throughout the week and beyond.

But behind a tin door in one of Goma’s many slums, some opposition supporters say protests in Goma will not remain peaceful in this province, where conflict involving rebel groups, militias and the government still rages in the countryside.  Fifty-eight-year-old Felix Badila says he is angered by Mr. Kabila’s election, but he will not join the protests.

Badila says he fears any protests will not remain calm, and security forces will react in kind.  On Sunday, Congolese officials said they were prepared to deal "harshly" with anyone caught disturbing the peace.  


You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
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 Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
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 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 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.

VOA Blogs