US sends troops to DR Congo on eve of election results

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On the eve of the first expected results of Congo's long-delayed presidential election, President Donald Trump said military personnel had deployed to Central Africa to protect USA assets from possible "violent demonstrations", while the country's powerful Catholic church warned of a popular "uprising" if untrue results are announced.

Tension is also growing between electoral commission and National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), an influential and independent group that deployed 40,000 observers on voting day, after the latter said on Thursday that the results it has so far collected indicated who had won, without identifying the person.

Meanwhile, Lamuka co-spokesperson Kamitatu said the tallies collected from almost all polling stations by Lamuka monitors clearly showed it was impossible that outgoing President Joseph Kabila's anointed successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary would win the election.

Another opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, said that electoral body must declare true results as per the ballots cast.

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

Mr. Trump's announcement regarding US troops indicates the U.S.is concerned with the safety of American officials and facilities in Congo, not with the electoral situation itself.

The Church on Saturday answered allegations by the electoral commission that it was hoping to stoke an "insurrection".

The U.S. has also threatened sanctions against those who undermine the democratic process in the election, according to The Associated Press.

Provisional results from the contentious polls were expected on Sunday and the Catholic Church has said it knows the victor according to its own unofficial tallies.

Leading opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, a businessman and lawmaker, has accused Congolese authorities of impeding his campaign.

The presidential election took place more than two years behind schedule, while a court ruled that Kabila could stay in office until the vote was held.

China "lauded the manner in which elections were conducted", the report said, and said a statement should not be published before the results.

Full preliminary election results from DR Congo are expected to be released Sunday, the Tribune News Service reported.

Citing the possibility of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, US president Donald Trump has deployed 80 troops with "appropriate equipment" and aircraft to the nearby Gabon, he informed Congress in a letter.

The Carter Center, which along with other Western observer missions were not invited to watch the vote, urges that vote-counting be transparent and suggests that the electoral commission post polling station-level results on its website.

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

Yumbi was among the three areas whose elections were postponed until March, in addition to Butembo and Beni, over concerns of an Ebola outbreak and ethnic violence.

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