Catastrophe In Congo

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Ryan Al-Schamma Mrs. Beth Kapner Modern World History December 10, 20111 Catastrophe in the Democratic Republic of Congo The Democratic Republic of Congo held a countrywide election on November 28, 2011. Due to the close race between the two contenders, violence erupted in the capital city of Kinshasa during the week of polling and after. More than 18 civilians were killed and 100 seriously-wounded. Polling stations were burned, poll workers attacked and ballots dumped in the mud, destroyed, or disappeared mysteriously. The opposition is headed by 78-year-old Etienne Tshisekedi who has been in politics in Congo for a long time. Mr. Tshisekedi is wildly popular with the voters who have suffered under harsh dictatorship for decades, the last on being under the current president Joseph Kabila for the past 10 years. Unlike Mr. Kabila, Mr. Tshisekedi has a good reputation for his incorruptible principles and pro-people stand. He championed for universal health care, free primary education and anti-corruption policies, which brought hope to the citizens in “the least developed country in the world” –according to a recent UN ranking. Congo is rich in mineral deposits and its land is fertile, yet Congolese suffer from unemployment, lack of education and violent authoritarian rulers. Mr. Tshisekedi is well educated, and has served as Congo’s Justice Minister, Interior Minister and Prime Minister since the 1960s. He has also been jailed, exiled and tortured several times over his anti-corruption stance. Early results showed Mr. Tshisekedi to be leading in the ballot count. The western embassies viewed Mr Tshisekedi with suspicion because of his radical views and anti-western stand. As the Election Commission announced Mr. Kabila as winner of the election with 48.9%, Mr. Tshisekedi called for calm amongst his supporters. Meanwhile the police was

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