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International community denounces manipulation on alleged "coup"

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MISNA - May 26, 2006 1:57 PM

The international community deplored "the recent manoeuvres" of security service agents "against some political candidates and certain political figures" and "denounces the political exploitation of a coup plot" in a critical statement ? received by MISNA ? of the so-called CIAT (International Committee in Support of the Transition), made up by representatives of the United nations, African and European Unions and nations of the continent, expressing concern over the political atmosphere in the Democratic Republic of Congo two months ahead of the elections. The Interior Minister and a government spokesman on Wednesday announced the arrest of 32 "foreign mercenaries" ? South Africans, Nigerians and Americans ? accused of destabilising the nation and plotting a coup. The episode, denied by the Nigerian and South African embassies, then transformed into a scenario of confusion and contrasting elements. In the same hours, following a peaceful rally organised by some parties, security forces without any warning blocked four presidential candidates in their homes, motivating the move with unspecified "security reasons". In regard to these episodes, the International Committee expressed preoccupation over "manipulations, intimidation and lies that prevail in the political and democratic debate". The document calls for respect of "freedom of expression and public gatherings". To guarantee stability in the Congolese territory during the electoral period, Gabon will temporarily host 1,100 European soldiers of the ?EuroforRdCongo? contingent ? half of which French, already stationed in Mali, and Germans ? ready to intervene in Congo in case of necessity.


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