AU urges 'respect' for results of DR Congo vote

DR Congo election Results'may be delayed as ballots trickle

The US has deployed approximately 80 troops to Gabon to potentially assist US citizens, personnel and diplomatic facilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo if violent protests over elections threaten their security, President Donald Trump told Congress in a letter Friday.

Trump said additional forces may deploy to Gabon "if necessary".

Trump's letter says more military personnel will deploy as needed to Gabon, Congo or neighboring Republic of Congo.

Once the results at individual voting stations have been posted, they have to be compiled regionally and sent to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI).

Congo's ruling party, which backs Kabila's preferred candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, has called the church's attitude "irresponsible and anarchist".

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

But critics say there has been little improvement in the quality of life for average Congolese and accuse the government of brutally suppressing dissent.

"We want the electoral commission to be able to work in good conditions because we want peace and we want the true results to be published", said Fiskas Kalombo, a witness for Fayulu's opposition coalition.

However, since voting began on December 30, election observers and the opposition have raise concerns about irregularities.

Key presidential election candidates in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Also Friday, Congo's election commission scolded the Catholic church for saying its data show a clear victor in Sunday's presidential election, asserting that the announcement could incite an "uprising".

Leading opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, a businessman and lawmaker who has accused Congolese authorities of impeding his campaign, has not commented.

The count is underway after Sunday's vote to determine who succeeds Joseph Kabila as president after his 18 years in power, with the results expected next Sunday.

The Catholic church in Congo is warning the country's electoral commission that publishing untrue results of the presidential election could lead to a popular "uprising".

Mende said the government had cut the Internet until the election results were published to stop the opposition, journalists and others on social media from publishing fake results that could spark violence.

CENCO secretary-general Donatien Nshole had said on Thursday that church tallies showed a clear victor in the election, which was widely interpreted as a warning against manipulating the results.

The elections will determine who succeeds President Joseph Kabila, who has been at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country for almost 18 years.

The government refused to accredit election monitors from the European Union and the US-based Carter Centre, which said there were widespread irregularities in the 2011 election.

More than one million Congolese in opposition strongholds were barred from voting after the electoral commission cancelled the polls there, citing an Ebola outbreak, the second-deadliest in history, and ethnic violence.

First results are expected on Sunday. The council is scheduled to hold a public meeting next Tuesday.

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