DRC opposition calls for protests
15 December 2011, 09:08
Kinshasa - Democratic Republic of Congo opposition
leader Etienne Tshisekedi's party called on Wednesday for mass protests
to "protect" the victory he claims to have won in disputed presidential
Jacquemin Shabani, secretary general of the Union for
Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP), made the call for "peaceful and
democratic demonstrations", without giving a time or place.
call comes amid growing crackdowns on opposition party protests,
including one on Wednesday in which demonstrators reported multiple
The Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni) on
Friday declared President Joseph Kabila the winner of the November 28
vote, provoking violent protests and looting in the capital and calls
from opposition leaders for the international community to intervene.
EU, the Carter Centre and other election monitors have voiced serious
concern about the credibility of the polls, citing problems in the vote
count and the loss of huge numbers of ballots.
Kabila, in power since 2001, took 49% of the vote to 32% for Tshisekedi, his top rival, according to the Ceni's tally.
Tshisekedi immediately rejected the result and declared himself president.
stopped opposition supporters from marching on Tuesday in the eastern
cities of Bukavu and Goma, whose mayors had banned protests.
Lubumbashi, the country's second-largest city, the elite presidential
guard dispersed a protest on Wednesday, injuring several people.
About 30 local leaders from the UDSP were marching toward the palace of justice to protest the closure of their headquarters.
local residents joined the march and numbers swelled to about 250,
members of the presidential guard intervened, according to UDSP member
"It was a peaceful march," Mutomb said. "We were
surprised to see a military arsenal deployed in front of us. The
presidential guard intervened violently."
A report on Tuesday by
EU election observers was sharply critical of voting procedures in the
recent poll, highlighting "the lack of transparency and irregularities
in the collection, compilation and publication of the results".
Wednesday, representatives for both Kabila and Tshisekedi said the EU
report should have gone further in describing who should actually have
won the election.