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Deadly new clashes drive Democratic Republic of the
Congo refugees out from their homes: United Nations

GENEVA Switzerland (Xinhua) -- People are fleeing deadly clashes that erupted at the end of last December between two communities in Yumbi, Mai-Ndombe Province of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a UN official said Friday.

Andrej Mahecic, for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), told a press briefing here Friday that the UN is supporting local authorities in the Republic of the Congo to provide humanitarian assistance to some 16,000 recently arrived refugees from the DRC.

According to the UN agency, an old rivalry between Banunus and Batende communities led to fresh inter-communal clashes, and the reignited dispute is reported to have killed dozens, with around 150 injured arriving in Congo-Brazzaville.

This is the largest influx of refugees from the DRC in Congo-Brazzaville in almost in a decade, since some 130,000 people were forced to seek shelter due to ethnic clashes in DRC’s former Equator Province in 2009, Mahecic said.

He told reporters that refugees, mostly women and children of the Banunu tribe, continue to arrive in Makotipoko and Bouemba districts in the Republic of Congo where the Congolese authorities and UN agencies, including UNHCR, are providing medical treatment, food and non-food items.

Those fleeing DRC talked of attacks that left homes burned and people killed, some feared an escalation in the conflict.

In DRC, Mahecic said, a recent humanitarian assessment mission to Yumbi found more than 450 houses destroyed following the clashes and found people in dire need of basic assistance including food, health services and shelter.

"Authorities in the Republic of the Congo formally requested the assistance of UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations.

"We are co-ordinating relief efforts to support the government in assisting refugees," he said.


Provisional results of DRC election postponed to next week: official

KINSHASA Democratic Republic of the Congo (Xinhua) -- The publication of the provisional results of the general election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), initially expected to be announced on Sunday, has been postponed until next week, according to Corneille Nangaa, president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of the country.

"It is not possible to publish the results on Sunday. We are progressing well but we do not have everything done yet," said Corneille Nangaa on Saturday without specifying the exact date scheduled for publication.

"Next week we will certainly have the result," he added.

According to Nangaa, the CENI had only received around 45 to 48 percent of ballots across the country.

The election kicked off on Dec. 30 in the country, except for three cities due to insecurity and the Ebola virus epidemic, which had been hitting a large part of the North-Kivu province in eastern DRC.

Provisional results of DRC election 2018 postponed | Coastweek   Martin Fayulu, candidate of the coalition "Lamuka" of the opposition has already claimed the victory of this election in spite of the call of the CENI asking to respect the rules which give the CENI the exclusive right to publish the provisional and final results of elections in the DRC.


Two dead at presidential election polling station in DR Congo: media

KINSHASA Democratic Republic of the Congo (Xinhua) -- Two people were killed in a disturbance between voters and police at a polling station in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Sunday, local media reported.

President Joseph Kabila casting his ballot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's 2018 general elections. WIKIPEDIA PHOTO - JOHN BOPENGO
The incident took place on the polling day of the presidential election at a polling station at Lurhala Primary School in the eastern province of South-Kivu, said a media report.

According to testimonies collected by the local press, a man suspected of being an agent of the CENI (electoral body of the DRC) came in the day to force voters to vote for the ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, creating scuffles.

A police officer deployed to secure the poll then fired on the voters he thought were out of control, killing one of the voters on the spot. In anger, the crowd beated the policeman to death.he unrest also left two injured.

The organization of the presidential election in the DRC has experienced several obstacles, including late opening of polling stations, absence of electoral lists, various malfunctions of voting machines, etc.

After slipping his ballot into the ballot box on Sunday morning, incumbent President Joseph Kabila said that "our people remain determined to overcome the challenges of the poll, together we write our own history."

The Congolese will know the successor to Kabila on Jan. 15 with the publication of the final results.


People in Democratic Republic of the Congo nervously waiting for results of Presidential vote



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