The government cut internet and SMS services for the country beginning on Monday, December 31, and continuing as of Tuesday, January 1. An advisor to President Joseph Kabila stated that services were suspended to preserve public order following elections on Sunday, December 30, in which both the ruling party and the opposition claim victory. According to a spokesman from the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), partial results will not be released until around Sunday, January 6. Protests and demonstrations are possible in the coming days and particularly following any announcement regarding results. Any political protests organized by opposition parties are likely to involve clashes with security forces. Continued telecommunication disruptions are also possible in the coming days.
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 at least four people were killed in election-related violence on Sunday.
President Joseph Kabila, whose term ended in 2016 but who has remained in power amid repeated election delays, has endorsed Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary as the candidate of the ruling FCC (Front Commun pour le Congo) coalition. Other main candidates include Felix Tshisekedi of the CACH (Cap pour le Changement) opposition coalition party and Martin Fayulu of the Lamuka opposition coalition.
Individuals in DRC are advised to monitor updates to the situation, avoid any public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest, refrain from discussing political topics in public, adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and anticipate telecommunication disruptions and a heightened security presence.
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