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Africa

Police admit killing four in DRC post-election violence

media A vehicle with armed police pass by burning tyres during clashes with supporters … AFP photo/ Gwenn Dubourthoumieu

The chief of the Democratic Republic of Congo's police has confirmed that his forces killed four people in post-election violence but declared the situation under control Sunday. It’s “hard to predict” whether the situation will deteriorate further, according to rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“Within elements of the police there are bad apples,” said police chief Charles Bisengimana in response to accusations that members of the police were involved in looting and abductions. “We have a list of people who have committed offences and they will be punished."

After reports that at least six people had been killed, Bisengimana confirmed that four people had been shot by police. He said the shootings occurred between Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Three of the victims were looters another woman was killed by a stray bullet.

There have been accusations that police have been involved in kidnappings.

Q&A: Anneke Van Woudenberg, DRC specialist, Human Rights Watch 10/12/2011 - by Daniel Finnan Listen

“We were receiving reports, which are still unverified, of shooting in the popular neighbourhoods of Kinshasa. Potentially people being abducted, taken away, sometimes by police, sometimes by individuals who are wearing civilian clothes,” said Anneke Van Woudenberg, a DRC specialist from HRW.

“Congo is always hard to predict,” Van Woudenberg told RFI, when asked if the situation will deteriorate again. “We know that there’ve been a lot of suspicions of the electoral process."

The central district of Gombe in Kinshasa remained calm on Sunday afternoon. The military presence appeared reduced, although UN peacekeepers continued to patrol the Boulevard Du 30 Juin highway.

Dossier: DRC elects a president

Defeated opposition UDPS party leader Etienne Tskisekedi had claimed after the official election results that he was president and declared that he would give his supporters a signal for some kind of further action.

Joseph Kabila was reelected with 49 per cent of the vote in preliminary election results announced by the electoral commission on Friday after several delays.

Results are expected to be confirmed by the Supreme Court on 17 December.

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