Following the release of the provisional presidential election results on Thursday, January 10, declaring opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi as the winner with 38.57 percent of the vote, unrests erupted in several parts of the country. In Kikwit (Kwilu province), violent protests are taking place to denounce the results of the election; at least six people have been killed and several others injured. In Kisangani (Tshopo province), supporters of defeated opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, protested and erected roadblocks throughout the town to denounce the election results. In Mubji-Mayi (Kasaï-Oriental province), supporters of Tshisekedi violently attempted to enter the governor's house to denounce his stand against Tshisekedi during the electoral campaign. Minor unrests erupted in the Tshangu district located near Kinshasa's N'djili international airport. Massive celebrations are also taking place near Tshisekedi party's headquarter and the Electoral Commission building in the capital Kinshasa as well as in Lubumbashi (Katanga province), Matadi (Kongo-Central province), and Bukavu (South Kivu province).
On a related note, Fayulu - who is identified as winner by the Catholic Church, which deployed hundreds of election observers and is considered a trusted monitor - has rejected the results and has called on its supporters to denounce it.
Further protests are possible in the coming hours and days in the capital Kinshasa and other urban centers. Clashes between rival political supporters and with security forces are likely.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that internet services were restored following the announcement of the results.
DRC held general elections on December 30 to choose a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who is ineligible to run for another term. There were numerous allegations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation and several people were killed in election-related violence. Fayulu of the Lamuka opposition coalition obtained 34.83 percent of the vote, while Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary candidate of the ruling FCC (Front Commun pour le Congo) coalition obtained 23.84 percent of the vote. Definite results are due in the next ten days followed by the presidential inauguration. Meanwhile, the vote is still due to take place in March in Beni, Butembo, and Yumbi where it was postponed due to security and health issues.
Individuals in the DRC are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest, refrain from discussing political topics in public, adhere to all instructions issued by their home government and local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer