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Saturday, 5 January 2019

The U.S has Deployed Troops to Central Africa Amidst Election Violence in DR Congo

Image: Voters wait to cast their ballots at a school in Kinshasa


Pres.Trump has told Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker that 80 military personnel and "appropriate combat equipment" were being deployed to Central Africa amid fears of election violence in Congo.

According to a letter dated Friday, the troops sent to Gabon would be tasked with securing U.S. citizens and diplomatic facilities in neighboring Congo in the event "violent demonstrations" broke out in the wake of a presidential vote.
Congo, a vast and underdeveloped country rich in the minerals that power mobile phones and laptops, has faced repeated civil wars involving numerous armed militias. Some 40 million people had been registered to vote but at the last minute around 1 million were barred as the electoral commission cited a deadly Ebola virus outbreak.
The vote will decide the successor to current President Joseph Kabila, who took office in 2001 after his father, Laurent Kabila, was assassinated. If there is no violence, the election would stand as Congo's first peaceful democratic transfer of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.
The country's first free and fair election was held in 2006, with Kabila declared the winner. The U.N. has described it as one of the most complex votes the organization has ever facilitated.
More than 16,000 U.N. troops remain stationed in the country as part of a mission to maintain stability.
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