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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Looting and anger in Congo capital
By Said Penda
BBC News, Kinshasa

Dead bodies still lay on the streets of Gombe on Wednesday morning.

Looting (Photo: Said Penda)
People seen as close to the president were targeted by looters
This was the neighbourhood of the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, where men loyal to President Joseph Kabila and those of his rival and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba did battle from Sunday, when first-round election results were announced, until a peace agreement on Tuesday.

The United Nations mission was trying on Wednesday morning to enforce the peace accord, which requires the two factions to withdraw their troops to where they were before the clashes began.

But until midday, armed men loyal to Mr Bemba were at large in parts of Gombe, while police and soldiers loyal to Mr Kabila controlled other sectors.

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Let the ballots do the talking and not the guns
Ouborr Kutando, Ghana

UN armoured vehicles patrolled the 30 June Boulevard, which seemed to be the line of control between the two factions.

So it is a fragile calm that has taken hold of the capital.

Public transport is running again, but Gombe still looks nothing like a normal weekday, when hundreds of thousands of people converge on the district.

Many people waited in front of banks, which have not yet opened their doors.

DR CONGO RESULTS BY PROVINCE
map
NATIONALLY:
Joseph Kabila: 45%
Jean-Pierre Bemba: 20%
Antoine Gizenga: 13%
Nzanga Mobutu: 5%
Oscar Kashala: 4%
Turnout: 70%
Source: CEI

Looting can be seen in several areas.

Young people attacked and looted the headquarters of PAREC, an organisation involved in disarmament which is headed by one of President Kabila's advisers.

The youths accused the president of starting the fighting.

Elsewhere in Gombe, the police fired a few rounds into the air to disperse other groups of youths who were looting a church where the priest is thought to be close to the president.

President Kabila is very unpopular in the capital, where he barely received 13% of the votes, while Mr Bemba received over 60%.

Residents of the capital, who live below the poverty line in this country so rich in natural resources, have had enough.

"We don't know why they are fighting, because they both qualified for the second round, " one 40-year-old told me.

"All we want is for them to go to the second round and for the president not to be chosen through weapons, " he said.




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