DRC Cut Internet Connection And SMS Services As "Fictitious Results" Began Circulating

Judy Cobb
January 5, 2019

Democratic Republic of Congo's ruling coalition accused the country's Catholic Church on Friday of behaving in an "irresponsible and anarchic" way after it said it knew the victor of last Sunday's presidential election.

The US military has deployed soldiers to Gabon amid fears of violent protests in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo after its presidential election.

The first members of this U.S. contingent arrived in Libreville, Gabon on January 2, Trump said in a letter sent to Congress on Friday.

A spokesman for the government, Lambert Mende, yesterday (3 January) defended the credibility of the election and said the decision to cancel voting in the Ebola-hit cities of Beni and Butembo was justified due to safety concerns. "These deployed personnel will remain in the region until the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed", the letter stated.

It called on election overseers "to publish the election results in keeping with truth and justice".

The SADC's qualified endorsement countered allegations by opposition candidates that the December 30 vote was marred by widespread irregularities and criticism by a senior USA lawmaker that the election was "neither free nor fair".

The Congolese election commission said Thursday that logistical problems may force it to postpone publication of provisional results, which are due by Sunday.

Attempts by authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to crack down on dissent during tense vote counting could "backfire", the United Nations said Friday, warning it was "watching carefully" as events unfold.

Western powers urge DR Congo to restore Internet

The government has also cut Internet access until the poll results are announced, saying this is a necessary measure to prevent the spread of fake news.

The election was the country's first presidential ballot in seven years.

Nangaa said CENCO's declaration violated electoral law and a code of conduct signed by poll monitors that gives the electoral commission, CENI, alone the authority to announce results.

The delay has triggered an outcry from individuals home and overseas awaiting the results of the historic elections.

The electoral commission accused the country's Catholic Church, which represents 40% of the country's 80 million people, of "preparing an insurrection" by saying it knows the victor of the presidential election.

Supporters of opposition leader Martin Fayulu sing and dance as they march and chant slogans in the streets of the Ndjili district of Kinshasa on December 19, 2018, ahead of a campaign rally for Democratic Republic of Congo's general elections.

Kabila's champion Shadary, a hardliner and former interior minister, and Emmanuel Tshisekedi, head of the UDPS, the country's oldest and largest opposition party, each said they had won.

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