The leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s opposition Etienne Tshisekedi has had to settle for a makeshift swearing-in ceremony in his Kinshasa home. He insists he is his country’s rightful ruler, and his supporters battling troops in the street agree.
Government soldiers prevented him using a stadium in the capital for the act of defiance, his latest stand against President Joseph Kabila, whose November election victory has been denounced as fraudulent by the opposition. The EU and US State Department have also expressed severe reservations.
Kabila was officially sworn in last Tuesday, in a ceremony that attracted the British, American and French ambassadors but only one head of state, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. A top Kabila aide called Tshisekedi’s ceremony a “political farce”, and “pantomime politics”. Dozens of arrests have been made in the latest protest, but there are few reports of serious injuries.