U.S. sends troops for pos­si­ble vote protests

The News-Times (Sunday) - - Nation/World -

On the eve of the first ex­pected re­sults of Congo’s long-de­layed pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said mil­i­tary per­son­nel had de­ployed to Cen­tral Africa to pro­tect U.S. as­sets from pos­si­ble “vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions,” while the coun­try’s pow­er­ful Catholic church warned of a pop­u­lar “upris­ing” if un­true re­sults are an­nounced.

Congo faces what could be its first demo­cratic, peace­ful trans­fer of power since in­de­pen­dence from Bel­gium in 1960, but elec­tion ob­servers and the op­po­si­tion have raised con­cerns about vot­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties as the coun­try chooses a suc­ces­sor to long­time Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila.

The first re­sults are ex­pected on Sun­day, and the United States and the African Union, among oth­ers, have urged Congo to re­lease re­sults that re­flect the true will of the peo­ple. The U.S. has threat­ened sanc­tions against those who un­der­mine the demo­cratic process. West­ern elec­tion ob­servers were not in­vited to watch the vote.

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