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Congo Army Disperses Opposition Protesters Ahead of Vote Results

July 16, 2012

Congo Republic’s army dispersed supporters of the opposition Alliance for the Republic and Democracy who staged a demonstration in the central town of Gamboma after parliamentary elections yesterday.

Soldiers fired shots into the air after a crowd of protesters threw stones at them and besieged an office of the National Commission for the Organization of Elections in Gamboma, 275 kilometers (171 miles) north of the capital, Brazzaville, electoral official Lucien Okana said. The opposition supporters were claiming victory for their candidate, he said.

“The shooting lasted more than two hours,” Okana said. At least three people were injured, including a 4-year-old child who was hit by a stray bullet, he said.

Residents of the Central African nation voted yesterday in elections in which President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s ruling Congolese Labor Party will probably retain its majority in parliament. Sassou Nguesso’s party and its allies won 125 of the 137 seats in a 2007 vote, which was marred by fraud and irregularities, according to African Union election observers.

The results of yesterday’s vote are scheduled to be announced later this week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Mbakouo in Brazzaville via Nairobi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson in Nairobi at

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