Human Rights Watch says at least 24 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been killed since incumbent president Joseph Kabila was re-elected in results announced on Dec. 9, the BBC reported.
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The group – which said it interviewed more than 80 witnesses and victims – also claims it has evidence that DRC security forces tried to cover up the deaths.
The announcement of the election results led to violent clashes in Kinshasa, a Tshisekedi stronghold, where HRW says most of the deaths occurred.
The group said in a statement:
"At least 24 people were killed by security forces between December 9 and 14, including 20 in Kinshasa, two in North Kivu, and two in Kasai Occidental province ... Human Rights Watch also documented an incident in which local youth in Kinshasa threw rocks at a priest who later died from his injuries."
In the Nov. 28 poll, Kabila defeated main opposition rival Etienne Tshisekedi, who rejected the results and proclaimed himself the country’s rightful leader.
While Kabila was sworn in for another five-year term in the capital Kinshasa on Tuesday, Tshisekedi is planning his own inauguration ceremony on Friday, Agence France Presse reported.
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DRC’s elections were the first to be organized locally since the country’s civil war ended in 2003, but international observers said they were not transparent enough to be credible.