The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) could descend into a series of electoral violence similar to that seen in Burundi as presidential and legislative polls scheduled in November are likely to be delayed, the United Nations warned on Friday.
A UN agency based in Geneva in a recent report classified the DRC as a country mostly exposed to disturbances and tensions in the coming months.
“The violence which could ignite the country, would be similar in neighbouring Burundi,” noted the analysts.
The violence which could ignite the country, would be similar as in neighbouring Burundi.
Senior UN experts have put Burundi and the DRC at the top of a list of risks to watch for in the next six months, along with Libya, the El Nino climate phenomenon, and drought in southern Africa.
“The most likely scenario remains delayed elections into 2017, a move which would likely trigger wide political unrest in a situation similar to that of post-electoral Burundi,” they said in a semi-annual report.
The report further states that arbitrary arrests of the opposition would intensify, adding that some thousands of people could be affected by these disorders and would seek to leave the capital to take refuge in the Congo- Brazzaville.
It also noted that with little freedom for democratic opposition and the heavy-handed use of security forces, the risk of violent clashes was high, especially in the capital and in Lubumbashi, home of Moise Katumbi, the leading opponent of President Joseph Kabila.
The global body also said things may get worse in Burundi, which has collapsed into chaos since President Pierre Nkurunziza pursued and won a third term in office last year, a move his opponents said is unconstitutional.
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The UN report which does not cover the biggest crises, such as Syria, Yemen or South Sudan, aims to alert aid agencies to potential shortfalls in upcoming emergencies.
Last November, it warned of a potential coup in Burundi and possible Islamist advances in Mali, which did not come to pass.
Apart from political situation, there would also be a medical crisis with a cholera epidemic that has already killed 140 people since January, UN said.