London police arrest 10 at DR Congo vote protest

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Police in London said they arrested ten people on Saturday during an angry demonstration by up to 500 people against the re-election of President Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The crowds broke out of a designated demonstration area and for a short time forced the closure of Whitehall, the street of government buildings near Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street office, and parts of Trafalgar Square.

The protesters held up placards declaring veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi the winner of the November 28 poll, rejecting the election commission's announcement that Kabila was the victor with 49 percent of the vote.

Chanting and blowing whistles in the cold winter air, they angrily condemned the sitting president. One 22-year-old student, Edwige, told AFP: "He is a murderer. Nobody voted for him. We want him out now in Congo."

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said the crowd numbered between 400 and 500, adding that "approximately 10 people have been arrested for obstruction of the highway" and the breach of another law governing protests.

At least four people have died in the Congolese capital in violence sparked by the disputed poll, police said on Saturday, as the row escalated with a threat from the government to prosecute Tshisekedi for claiming victory.

© 2011 AFP

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