Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Congo's capital calm after results night gunbattle

By Monuc/Reuters | Published on August 21, 2006

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Congolese police and U.N. peacekeepers patrolled the capital Kinshasa on Monday hours after the announcement of an election run-off was overshadowed by battles between soldiers loyal to the two leading candidates.

U.N. sources said five people were killed during fighting on Sunday night between soldiers loyal to President Joseph Kabila and followers of former rebel chief Jean-Pierre Bemba as the provisional results from historic July 30 polls were announced.

Kabila, with 44.81 percent of the votes, finished well ahead of his rival Bemba, who had 20.03 percent, but failed to gain enough votes to win the presidency outright in the first round. The two will face each other in a run-off on October 29, electoral officials said.

"We were in front of our televisions waiting for the results when our friends called from town saying there was shooting. This is chaos," said Alphonse, a taxi driver who lives in N'Djili, an outlying Kinshasa district.

There was sporadic shooting through the night but the centre of Kinshasa was calm on Monday. Tank tracks marked a main boulevard where Kabila's presidential guard, Congolese policemen and U.N. peacekeeping troops were on patrol.

The middle of the city, which is normally bustling, was nearly empty save for a handful of pedestrians inspecting spent bullet casings and the bodies of two men lying in the street.

There was still confusion over who had started the fighting on Sunday night.

"Soldiers in civilian clothes came along here and attacked Bemba's office. Bemba's men fought back and that's how these people were killed," said Jean-Pierre Paul, a Kinshasa resident in his 20s who said he witnessed the fighting.

Another man said Bemba loyalists had opened fire on the police and U.N. peacekeepers.

Last month's polls were meant to draw a line under a decade of conflict and chaos in Democratic Republic of Congo, where a 1998-2003 war sparked a humanitarian crisis that has killed more than 4 million people.

Despite continued insecurity in the lawless east and hostile campaigning in the capital, the elections, which were overseen by over 17,000 U.N. peacekeepers backed up by a smaller European Union force, were generally peaceful and considered a success.

However, they have underlined deep political and ethnic divisions in the vast central African nation.

Sunday's violence, which saw heavy fighting and armoured vehicles appearing on the streets, was an example of the hostile environment which could accompany a second round of voting.

@Congoplanet |

Related articles

  1. Felix Tshisekedi Sworn In as DR Congo President (January 24, 2019)
  2. Constitutional Court Declares Tshisekedi Winner of Presidential Election (January 19, 2019)
  3. Felix Tshisekedi Vows to Be the President of All Congolese (January 10, 2019)
  4. Felix Tshisekedi Elected DR Congo President (January 10, 2019)
  5. DR Congo Delays Results of December Election (January 6, 2019)
  6. Jean-Pierre Bemba Returns to DR Congo (August 1, 2018)
  7. At least 30 dead after massacres in Ituri (March 2, 2018)
  8. Botswana Urges Joseph Kabila to Step Down (February 26, 2018)
  9. No elections in DR Congo in December without electronic voting machines: INEC (February 13, 2018)
  10. US Warns DR Congo Against Electronic Voting for Delayed Election (February 12, 2018)
  11. Felix Tshisekedi accuses INEC of illegally prolonging Kabila's mandate (October 24, 2017)
  12. DRC Seeks Arrest of Presidential Candidate Moise Katumbi (May 19, 2016)
  13. Papa Wemba Is Buried in Kinshasa (May 4, 2016)
  14. Papa Wemba Awarded Highest National Honor as Thousands Pay Tribute (May 2, 2016)
  15. DR Congo reach final of African Nations Championship (February 3, 2016)
  16. Political tensions 'running high' in DR Congo ahead of 2016 elections (October 7, 2015)
  17. Rights Groups: DR Congo Must Free Pro-democracy Activists (April 13, 2015)
  18. Police Open Fire on Crowd Protesting Election Law Change (January 19, 2015)
  19. Denis Mukwege Wins Sakharov Prize 2014 (October 21, 2014)
  20. Etienne Tshisekedi Evacuated to Belgium for Medical Treatment (August 16, 2014)
  21. 15 dead in football match stampede in Kinshasa (May 12, 2014)
  22. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 4, 2014)
  23. Kerry in DR Congo for Security Talks (May 3, 2014)
  24. Security Council extends UN mission, intervention force in DR Congo for one year (March 28, 2014)
  25. Death toll in Lake Albert boat accident rises to 108 people (March 24, 2014)
  26. DR Congo Takes Chairmanship of COMESA at Summit in Kinshasa (February 26, 2014)
  27. New DR Congo amnesty law welcomed by UN envoys (February 5, 2014)
  28. DR Congo Honors Nelson Mandela, Hero and Model for Humanity (December 6, 2013)
  29. Congo Army Takes Control of Mbuzi Hill From M23 Rebels (November 4, 2013)
  30. Kabila Congratulates Congo Army for Defeating M23 Rebels (October 30, 2013)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.