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Democratic Republic of Congo DRC Etienne Tshisekedi Joseph Kabila Kinshasa

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Kabila sworn in for second mandate as DR Congo president


Incumbent president Joseph Kabila was sworn in Tuesday for a second five year mandate. The ceremony in Kinshasa follows elections on 28 November that the opposition says were rigged.

Kabila, 40, swore before God and the nation “to safeguard national unity, to be guided only by the public interest and respect for the rights of the individual”.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe was the only foreign head of state to attend the ceremony.

The swearing in took place in front of the Supreme Court of Justice which confirmed on 16 December that Kabila won the election with 48.95% of the votes compared with 32.33% for opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

Tshisekedi – backed up by Congolese and international observers – says the polls were marred by numerous irregularities and has rejected this result.

He has proclaimed himself ‘president elect’ and has announced he will hold his own swearing-in ceremony “before the people” at Kinshasa’s Martyrs’ Stadium on Friday.

Dossier: DRC elects a president

Invited but absent, a dozen African heads of state were represented by their prime ministers (Gabon, Rwanda, Tanzania), parliamentary speaker (Central African Republic) or ministers (Congo-Brazzaville, South Africa, Angola, Burundi, Chad…)

The ambassadors of Belgium, France, Britain and the United States were also present.

Joseph Kabila took power at the age of 30 after his father Laurent-Désiré Kabila, the man who overthrew Mobutu, was assassinated in 2001.

He was elected a first time in 2006 promising to secure peace and rebuild the country ruined by two wars (1996-1997, 1998-2003).