DRC prepares for arrival of international delegation for presidential inauguration

More than 40 international delegations led by at least 20 heads of state and government are expected in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the inauguration of president Félix Tshisekedi, Congolese news agency ACP reports. Meanwhile, the opposition is calling on the population to express dissatisfaction with what they claim are fraudulent elections.

The ACP has been shown a list of potential invitees, although the exact participants are not publicly known. Fifteen heads of state from the Southern African Development Community, of which DRC is a member, have reportedly confirmed their attendance.

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As electoral violence looms, Belgian defence chief visits Congo to discuss cooperation
Electoral violence in Congo threatens to derail next Wednesday's parliamentary elections, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said. The Congolese authorities must take action to avoid escalating an already dangerous situation, HRW warns. Meanwhile, Belgian defence chief Michel Hofman visited his Congolese counterpart in Kinshasa on Saturday to assess military cooperation between the two countries.

East African Community countries have indicated their willingness to attend, as has the president of neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville. Rwanda, accused by Kinshasa of supporting the M23 rebels, "cannot logically receive an invitation", the ACP said.

Senate president Stephanie D'Hose will represent Belgium, the Foreign ministry said. The White House confirmed the presence of Scott Nathan, director of the International Development Finance Corporation, an institution that works on the economic development of developing countries.

Tshisekedi was re-elected president in the vote held on 20 and 21 December and will be inaugurated on Saturday. The three defeated candidates call on the population to "express their discontent, stand up and say no" that day.

During an online press conference on Thursday, the trio reiterated their call for the elections to be annulled, claiming they were marred by widespread fraud. Martin Fayulu, who officially won just over 5 per cent of the vote, believes that "all Congolese have understood that this was a farce. We have become the world's laughing stock".



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Congolese president wants EU sanctions for violence in Eastern Congo
Congolese president Félix Tshisekedi met a delegation of Belgian MPs in the capital Kinshasa on Thursday. He has asked them to press the European Union for economic sanctions against anyone contributing to destabilisation in eastern Congo, Congolese news agency ACP reports.

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