Clashes Erupt in Congo as Police and Opposition Clash During Election Protest


On Wednesday, Congo police used tear gas to disperse opposition supporters in Kinshasa who were demanding a rerun of the recent chaotic presidential and legislative elections.

The disputed vote poses a threat to Congo’s stability, especially as the country is already dealing with a security crisis in the east that has hindered its development as a major producer of cobalt and other industrial minerals and metals.

Five of President Felix Tshisekedi’s challengers, along with civil society organizations, urged their supporters to join a march against the election, which they claim was fraudulent and should be invalidated.

Authorities had previously banned the demonstration, with Interior Minister Peter Kazadi declaring that the march aimed to undermine the electoral process and would not be tolerated by the government.

Despite the ban, the opposition persisted with their plans, calling on people to gather near the People’s Palace, the seat of Parliament, before marching to the headquarters of the Electoral Commission (CENI).

Ahead of the march, anti-riot police were deployed in the People’s Palace district, near the Martyrs stadium.

The presidential election saw nearly 44 million voters participating, with logistical issues leading to an official extension of voting in some remote areas until Christmas.

Preliminary results show President Félix Tshisekedi leading with around 79% of the votes, seeking a second five-year term. Moïse Katumbi, former governor of the mining region of Katanga, is in second place with approximately 14% of the votes, followed by Martin Fayulu, an unsuccessful candidate in the 2018 presidential election, with around 4%.

Other candidates, numbering around twenty, have garnered less than 1% of the votes. Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Denis Mukwege is in 11th place with 0.12% of the votes.

Opponents have criticized the elections as chaotic and marked by irregularities, with the Archbishop of Kinshasa describing them as “a gigantic organized disorder”. Several embassies and the prelate have called for restraint.

Given Congo’s history of political turbulence and violence, tensions are expected to rise when the winner of the presidential election is announced. The government has assured that measures are in place to maintain peace.

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Piers Potter


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