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USA sends military to Africa amid DR Congo post-election tension

USA sends military to Africa amid DR Congo post-election tension

Trump sent a letter to congressional leaders noting that the first troops of the deployment had arrived in Gabon's capital of Libreville on Wednesday.

"These deployed personnel will remain in the region until the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed".

The church, one of Congo's most trusted institutions and representing about 40 percent of its 80 million population, based its finding on tallies from more than 40,000 observers it deployed for the December 30 poll, meant to mark the country's first democratic transfer of power. Congo's government says the election was fair and went smoothly.

"We call on the CENI ... to publish, with all responsibility, the results of the election that respect truth and justice". The commission accused the church of violating the regulations.

The outcome of the vote will decide a successor to incumbent President Joseph Kabila, who is due to step down this month after 18 years in power.

The election could mark the first peaceful transition of power in the war-torn DRC, sub-Saharan Africa's largest country geographically, since independence in 1960.

In response, the electoral commission accused the Church on Friday of "preparing an insurrection" by declaring that it knew the victor of the election.

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Already the powerful Catholic Church has reported that its tallies shows an outright victor of the polls.

The EU has called on the Democratic Republic of Congo to restore Internet access, which operators say was cut on government orders. "Now is the time for CENI to affirm that these votes were not cast in vain by ensuring the accurate reporting of election results", State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a statement.

"We are watching carefully and we are calling on all sides to refrain from the use of violence", she added.

"We also noted that confusion on election day over the location of polling stations, the posting of voter lists, the late delivery of some election materials, and CENI's unfortunate decision to cancel elections in Beni and Butembo in eastern DRC disenfranchised voters". Ruling party candidate Shadary, a former interior minister, is under European Union sanctions for a crackdown on Congolese who protested the delayed election.

The council is scheduled to hold a public meeting on the DR Congo on Tuesday.

Others headed to street markets to buy credit for services in the neighbouring Republic of Congo. French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said the 15-member body would continue to monitor the electoral process in Congo.

A marathon vote count is underway in a climate of deep suspicion about fraud in a country scarred by political turmoil and haunted by memories of violence.


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