Hate messages in DR Congo media targeting ‘white people’ spark UN concerns

17 August 2006

The top United Nations envoy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has expressed concern about hate messages in the local media, which are inciting Congolese to target and take revenge on “white people and foreigners,” a spokesman for the world body said today.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DRC, William Lacy Swing, made his feelings known this morning, following yesterday’s decision by the Congolese High Authority on Media to suspend for 24 hours the local RTAE and CCTV television stations because of the broadcasts.

CCTV television station is owned by presidential candidate and current Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York, adding that the official Congolese Broadcasting Corporation television station has also been suspended for 24 hours on similar grounds.

On a separate issue, the UN Mission to the DRC (MONUC) reports that some 97 per cent

of the votes cast in last month’s landmark presidential election, and some 50 per cent of those cast in the parliamentary poll, have been compiled so far, Mr. Dujarric said.

The Mission says election organizers are confident that official provisional results for the presidential poll will be available this Saturday, one day ahead of schedule, despite logistical difficulties in the vast African country.

During the largely peaceful elections on 30 July, millions of voters went to some 50,000 polling stations to choose from among 32 candidates for president and more than 9,000 candidates for the National Assembly.

 

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