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Concern About Violent Clashes In The Congo

Security Council Expresses Serious Concern About Violent Clashes In The Congo

Expressing serious concern about clashes that have taken place in the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since presidential election results were released on Sunday, the Security Council today called for an end to the violence and expressed its hope that the two leading candidates in the polls would meet to resolve their differences peacefully.

In a statement to the press, the Council demanded that the Congolese political leadership “exercise restraint and immediately implement the ceasefire agreed between their forces and henceforth refrain from any threats or use of force or intimidation against political opponents or their supporters.”

Echoing remarks made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has been in touch by telephone with the two candidates, the Council expressed the hope that a proposed meeting between President Joseph Kabila and Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba would be held as soon as possible.

“There can be no military solution to political issues in the DRC,” said the statement, which urged all parties “to take immediate steps to support the democratic process that is underway.”

The Security Council also “appealed to political leaders to respect the electoral calendar as established by the Independent Electoral Commission.” Run-off elections between Mr. Kabila, who received 45 per cent of the vote, and Mr. Bemba, who garnered 20 per cent, are scheduled to be held on 29 October.

Ends

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