Monday, August 21, 2006

DRC: Gun battles in KInshasa

Security tightened in DR Congo as presidential election heads to round two - Yahoo! News:

"KINSHASA (AFP) - Heavy gunfire targeted the villa of Jean-Pierre Bemba, who came second in the
Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election, as he met with foreign ambassadors overseeing the country's transition to democracy, diplomatic sources said.

'There was heavy arms fire, probably canons, rocket-launchers and heavy machine guns,' a diplomatic source told AFP on the condition of anonymity.

'Bemba's private helicopter was destroyed and the CIAT ambassadors sought cover in the villa's cellar,' the source said.

'The firing lasted a good half hour and it has just started to calm down,' he added."
This is everything I was worried about. It is not acceptable that such things happen. I was just listening to the spokesperson of the Congolese Armed Forces, on Radio Okapi, ordering every soldier to return to the baracks, and forbidding any soldier from being outside of their barracks with weapons, under penalty of a court matial. Let us see if this will be implemented on the ground. This situation saw the very first intervention of The EUFOR soldiers, who are trying to help MONUC extract the Ambassadors from Bemba's residence. There is no forthcoming explanation from either Kabila's or Bemba's headquarters.

Pictures from the press wire agencies:

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