Congolese spill into Rwanda ahead of vote result

Scores of residents from Goma town in the eastern DRC, yesterday, thronged into the Rwanda border town of Gisenyi fearing renewed unrest ahead of the announcement of the winner of last week’s presidential election. Goma has been relatively peaceful during the just concluded presidential and parliamentary campaigns, unlike other parts of Congo which were marred by violence.
Congolese arrive in neighbouring Congo- Brazzaville. Others are in Gisenyi fearing post election unrest. Net photo.
Congolese arrive in neighbouring Congo- Brazzaville. Others are in Gisenyi fearing post election unrest. Net photo.

Scores of residents from Goma town in the eastern DRC, yesterday, thronged into the Rwanda border town of Gisenyi fearing renewed unrest ahead of the announcement of the winner of last week’s presidential election. 

Goma has been relatively peaceful during the just concluded presidential and parliamentary campaigns, unlike other parts of Congo which were marred by violence.

Some Congolese have booked accommodation in various hotels in Gisenyi town, others are residing in houses they own in the western city of Rwanda, while others are accommodated by their Rwandan friends.

“Hotels have been fully booked, especially throughout the campaigns where Congolese sought safety for fear of violence in their country,” said Bertin Hamudara, president of the association of hotels in Rubavu District.

He added that hotels started registering fleeing Congolese three to four months before the voting exercise took place.

“We are not only accommodating Congolese but also foreigners working in NGOs based in eastern DRC,” added Hamudara.

However, after the polls, some of those who had fled have begun streaming back home after the realisation that no fighting is taking place. 

 “Many Rwandan families are giving shelter to Congolese who crossed before and after the elections in DRC,” said Anatoli Mwiseneza, a businessman close to the border.

The latest result projections, announced early Tuesday by the country’s electoral commission, gave Joseph Kabila, the incumbent, 46.4 percent with votes from just over two-thirds of polling centres counted.

His main rival, Etienne Tshisekedi, has 36.2 percent.

alex.ngarambe@newtimes.co.rw

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