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DRC wants to avoid Ivorian election crisis

  |   July 7, 2011 at 10:42 AM
STRASBOURG, France, July 7 (UPI) -- European aid to the Democratic Republic of Congo must be spent wisely to avert a crisis such as the one that struck Ivory Coast, an official said.

Rival claims to the Ivorian presidency following November elections pushed the country to the brink of civil war. Medard Mulangala, leader of the opposition Union for a Republican Majority, told the EUobserver that aid from the European Union must be spent correctly.

"We have to make sure that EU taxpayers' money will be used to support a proper process," he was quoted as saying. "We want to have a fair and democratic process but access to public media is restricted to candidates from the ruling party."

The EU in 2006 sent a military mission to DRC to help secure the political process there. Clashes between rival groups have already escalated, however. Police in Kinshasa used tear gas to break up protests and arrested several opposition figures Monday.

Mulangala said now was the time to make sure foreign aid was spent correctly in the DRC.

"We would like to avoid having a situation like the one in the Ivory Coast after the election," he said from Strasbourg, France. "This is something we cannot afford."

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