The United States has warned political actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) face consequences if they opt for violence in the wake of the dispute presidential election outcome.
“Violence is unacceptable, and the U.S. Government will hold accountable those who perpetrate election-related violence or impede the democratic process,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Thursday night.
“We urge all stakeholders to remain calm as the process continues.”
Felix Tshisekedi was yesterday declared winner of the presidential elections which have since been disputed by the Catholic Church and western diplomats.
Martin Fayulu, a bitter rival of Tshisekedi, has dismissed the outcome of the poll as an “electoral coup.”
Tshisekedi has vowed to unite the deeply fractured country and restore state authority in the volatile eastern part of DRC.
He also committed to working closely with outgoing president Joseph Kabila.
The U.S. maintains Special Forces in neighbouring Gabon to respond to any eventuality in Kinshasa.
U.S. also said while National Independent Electoral Commission announced results, “we await clarification of questions which have been raised regarding the electoral count. The United States notes that stakeholders have the option to request a review of the announced provisional results to ensure they reflect the will of the Congolese people as expressed through the ballot box.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s government congratulated “the millions of courageous voters who went to the polls across DRC to cast their ballots after two years of delay. Many of these voters waited long hours for the chance to make their voices heard.”
Government said many other voters were unable to vote due to challenges with the organization of polling stations, missing election materials, or the cancellation of elections in the Ebola affected areas of Beni and Butembo, yet still found creative, peaceful, and inspirational ways to express their desire for a more peaceful and prosperous Congo.
“The United States stands with the people of Congo at this historic moment and it is they who should determine their country’s future,” it emphasized.
The United States also noted the “importance of President Joseph Kabila’s decision to abide by his constitutionally mandated term limits and transfer power to a successor.”