US Sends Troops to Gabon to Watch for Congo Violence

US Sends Troops to Gabon to Watch for Congo Violence

The United States has called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) Electoral Commission to release accurate results of Sunday's general election in the country, warning against manipulation.

Trump's letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says about 80 military personnel and "appropriate combat equipment" deployed to nearby Gabon to support the security of USA citizens and staffers and diplomatic facilities in Congo.

The government says the election was fair and went smoothly.

The commission is scheduled to release provisional results on Sunday but has said there could be delays because of the slow arrival of tally sheets.

However, the fragile peace in place since the disastrous wars that rocked the continent from 1996 to 2003 is feared to hinge on the results of the election, and the favored candidate of outgoing President Joseph Kabila, in power since his father's assassination in 2001, was behind in the polls.

The various moves reflected high tensions in Congo, where the long-delayed election was meant to choose a successor to Kabila, who is due to step down next month after 18 years in power - and two years after the official end of his mandate.

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"Those who enable a peaceful, democratic transfer of power out of respect for DRC's constitution and the results of this election will be hailed, while those responsible for undermining democratic institutions and processes, threatening the peace, security, or stability of DRC or benefiting from corruption ‎will be held accountable".

"The Democratic Republic of Congo is at a historic moment toward a democratic transition", a spokesperson for the EU's diplomatic arm said.

The final results of the ballot - the country's first multi-party elections since 1960 - are due on January 15 amid fears of violence.

More than one million Congolese in opposition strongholds were barred from voting after the electoral commission cancelled the polls there, citing an Ebola outbreak, the second-deadliest in history, and ethnic violence.

The first partial results were initially expected on Tuesday but CENI spokesman Jean-Pierre Kalamba said that they would not be ready until around Friday.

The electoral commission accused the country's Catholic Church, which represents 40% of the country's 80 million people, of "preparing an insurrection" by saying it knows the victor of the presidential election. On Friday, the UN Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the Congo. The opposition, represented by its two main candidates Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi, and Shadary's camp have all claimed they are on course to win, without posting specific figures.

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