Foreign Affairs PS says no Kenyans affected in DRC and Gabon

Written By: Claire Wanja/BBC
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Foreign Affairs PS. Amb Macharia Kamau
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it will continue to monitor the situation related to presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the situation in Gabon following an attempted coup that was quickly thwarted.

In a statement on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs PS. Amb Macharia Kamau said no Kenyan living or working in both DR Congo and Gabon has been affected negatively following the election process or the aftermath of attempted coup.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to acknowledge that peace and a return of the rule of law has been assured in Gabon.” He said

On the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the PS welcomed the elections while taking note of the challenge that the country has faced in executing the election and commended the government and the people of DRC for the gallant embracement of the democratic electoral exercise.

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“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs looks forward to the timely conclusion of the election process in order to allow the brotherly state of DRC to continue with its political and development journey.” He added.

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On Wednesday, opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu warned election officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo not to “disguise the truth” as tensions mount over the delayed result.

Mr Fayulu said the “Congolese people already know” the result of the vote, which took place on 30 December.

The election outcome was initially expected to be announced on Sunday.

The poll is to establish a successor to Joseph Kabila, who is stepping down after 18 years as president.

Mr Kabila has promised that the polls, which were supposed to have taken place two years ago, will be DR Congo’s first orderly transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

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His preferred successor, former interior minister Emmanuel Shadary, is facing strong opposition from Mr Fayulu, an ex-oil tycoon, and Felix Tshisekedi, son of a veteran opposition leader.

Mr Kabila took over from his assassinated father Laurent in 2001. He was elected in 2006, and secured another term in controversial elections in 2011.

He was barred from running for another term under the constitution, and was supposed to step down two years ago, but the election was postponed after the electoral commission said it needed more time to register voters.

In Gabon, a spokesperson for the government of Gabon has said the political situation in the country is “under control”, following an attempted coup.

Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told the BBC that four of the rebels had been arrested by the authorities. A fifth is on the run.

Junior officers claimed they seized power “to restore democracy” in oil-rich Gabon, where the ailing leader’s family has ruled for 50 years.

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Tanks and armed vehicles could be seen in the capital Libreville.

The soldiers took control of the national radio station at 04:30 local time (03:30 GMT) to read a short statement announcing a “National Restoration Council”.

Current leader Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo as president in 2009. He narrowly won re-election in 2016 in a poll marred by violence and accusations of fraud.

The coup attempt came as a huge surprise. The army has always been seen as loyal to the Bongo family, he said, because it is dominated by the presidential guard, who mostly come from Mr Bongo’s home region.

The president’s term in office has been overshadowed by a long-running French investigation into allegations of embezzlement involving the Bongo family’s assets.

Mr Bongo, who has been out of the country for two months, reportedly suffered a stroke in October and received treatment in Morocco.

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