With four days to the opening of vote, the elections body in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, announced that three cities were to be excluded from the process.
The three were Beni, Butembo and Yumbi – the first two were affected because of a public health crisis with Ebola raging there whiles in Yumbi, it was because of a security crisis that had led to loss of lives.
But the people of Beni held widespread protests in the wake of the December 26 exclusion announcement. Security forces clashed with protesters who mounted barricades and burnt tires.
On the day of vote, however, civilians in Beni did vote, hundreds turned up at polling stations to cast their vote. With organizers promising to send the results to the elections body, CENI, to include in the national tally.
The three cities are said to be opposition strongholds and the total number of voters amounted to 1.2 million votes. CENI said voting will take place in the areas in March 2019.