U.S. President Donald Trump says military personnel have deployed to Central Africa in advance of possible “violent demonstrations” in Congo over results of Sunday’s presidential election.
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 U.S. citizens and staffers and diplomatic facilities in Congo.
Trump’s letter says more military personnel will deploy as needed to Central Africa of Gabon, Congo or the neighbouring Republic of Congo.
Congo faces what could be its first democratic, peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960 ( Central Africa), but election observers and the opposition have raised concerns about voting irregularities.
The powerful Catholic church has said its data show a clear winner, angering Congo’s ruling party.
First results are expected on Sunday as one countries in the Central Africa look to have a change in Government.
The United States of America had on Wednesday released a statement through the Department State Deputy Spokesperson, Robert Palladino, saying the United States stands by the millions of Congolese voters who went to the polls across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on December 30, 2018, to participate in presidential, legislative, and provincial assembly elections.
“The United States was deeply concerned by the DRC’s National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) decision to deny accreditation to several international election observers and media representatives.
“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. Nevertheless, despite these challenges, millions of Congolese citizens turned out peacefully across DRC on election day to cast their ballots and make their voices heard. CENI must now ensure that these voices and votes are respected.”
The statement also warn of a potential ban, saying:
“Those who undermine the democratic process, threaten the peace, security or stability of the DRC, or benefit from corruption may find themselves not welcome in the United States and cut off from the U.S. financial system”.