UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC-REPUBLIC OF CONGO: IRIN News Briefs, 4 October
CAR: Patasse reelected CAR: Opposition call for annulment ROC: Senior UN official appeals for donor help ROC: Government angry over Kinkala "confusion"
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Patasse reelected
President Ange-Felix Patasse was elected to another six-year term with 51.6 percent of the votes, news agencies said on Saturday. According to official results of the 19 September election announced by the Constitutional Court in Bangui, the main runners-up among Patasse's nine challengers were former presidents Andre Kolingba and David Dacko, who received 19.3 percent and 11.15 percent of the votes, respectively. As Patasse won over 50 percent of the votes, no second round of voting will be required. "I wish to express all my gratitude and my sincere thanks to all those who supported the ideals of peace, unity, social justice, solidarity, democracy and good governance which I had proposed to them," Patasse, a 63-year-old agricultural engineer first elected president in 1993, was quoted as saying after Saturday's victory announcement.
CAR: Opposition call for annulment
Meanwhile, the opposition coalition Union des forces acquises a la paix (UFAP) on Sunday demanded that the election results be annulled and that a new vote be organised because of "serious irregularities and rigging", news agencies reported. A UFAP statement cited ballot-box stuffing, insufficient ballots for opposition candidates and "hundreds of secret polling booths", AFP reported. Defeated candidate Kolingba told Radio France Internationale (RFI) on Monday that the CAR people had been "robbed of their victory". However, Kolingba said he had called on his supporters to remain calm and not engage in popular resistance. "What is done is done?" Kolingba was quoted as saying. The elections were organised by the Commission electorale mixte et independante (CEMI), comprising government and opposition representatives. Electoral observers from the UN Mission in the CAR (MINURCA), the European Union and La Francophonie said after the voting that it had been free and fair, in spite of some minor problems.
REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Senior UN official appeals for donor help
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Sergio Vieira de Mello on Friday appealed for donor funds to help internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in the Congo. "It was with great concern that I learned of reports of the disastrous humanitarian conditions in Kinkala... where thousands of IDPs are close to death due to severe food shortages," de Mello said in a statement. UN agencies last week undertook their first humanitarian assessment mission to Kinkala, 77 km from Brazzaville, since the outbreak of fighting in December 1998. "I appeal to the donor community to provide urgent and generous funding" to UN agencies and NGO "to enable them to provide the much needed food aid and medicines recommended by the assessment mission," he said.
ROC: Government angry over Kinkala "confusion"
Meanwhile, the government on Sunday criticised de Mello for making the statement, saying he had exaggerated the risk of death by starvation, news agencies reported. In a communique read over Congolese radio, the government said it "protests the excessive remark" and "expresses its indignation over the confusion surrounding the humanitarian situation in Kinkala." It added: "Thanks to the efforts of state forces nearly 200,000 people who had been taken hostage by the militia have been able to return to Brazzaville."
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