DR Congo authorities cut internet, broadcast signals after election

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DR Congo's powerful Roman Catholic Church on Thursday said it knows who has won a much-delayed presidential vote and urged the electoral commission to publish the "truth".

The US military has deployed soldiers to Gabon amid fears of violent protests in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo after its presidential election.

Trump's letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says about 80 military personnel and "appropriate combat equipment" deployed to nearby Gabon to support the security of US citizens and staffers and diplomatic facilities in Congo. Congo's government says the election was fair and went smoothly.

The troops will remain in the region until the security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) "becomes such that their presence is no longer needed".

It can not say publicly who the clear victor appears to be, as Congo's electoral regulations forbid anyone but the electoral commission to announce results.

Last Sunday's vote will decide the successor to President Joseph Kabila, who came to office in 2001 after the previous incumbent, his father Laurent, was assassinated in the aftermath of a civil war involving numerous armed militias.

Voters in the DRC, which isn't adjacent to Gabon but is separated by the Republic of the Congo, went to the polls on December 30 to choose their next president.

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Approval of the election's results by SADC powers like South Africa and Angola will be critical for the legitimacy of the administration of the next president, who will succeed veteran incumbent Joseph Kabila on January 18.

"The United States stands by the millions of Congolese voters who went to the poll across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on December 30 to participate in presidential, legislative, and provincial assembly election".

Western powers hope sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country will see its first peaceful change of the presidency since independence in 1960.

Elections to succeed him were delayed several times before they finally took place, and were further postponed in several areas hit by violence.

Thirty-eight per cent of the some 40,000 polling stations the mission observed were still missing electoral materials more than three hours after polls opened on Sunday, the mission said.

The DRC's minister for higher education, Steve Mbikayi, on Friday said the country's universities would reopen on January 14 after the year-end break, a week later than scheduled, because of election tensions. The opposition, represented by its two main candidates Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi, and Shadary's camp have all claimed they are on course to win, without posting specific figures.