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Western governments sanction DRC candidate

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- U.S., French and British governments have sanctioned a member of the Mai Mai militia for international rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The governments, in a statement, said they've sanctioned Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, the leader of the militia, for blocking reconciliation efforts in the DRC and for "serious" violations of international law "involving the targeting of children."

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"Our missions strongly encourage the Congolese government to implement the existing arrest warrant currently outstanding against Sheka," the statement read.

The decision follows reports of violence in the DRC following the country's second democratic election since gaining independence in 1960.

The DRC government said gunmen killed five people during an attack on a polling station and several polling stations were torched across the country. Voting was carried over to a second day Tuesday, London's Guardian newspaper reports.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington has heard reports of "some anomalies" during the voting process but said "we'll wait and see" before making a final assessment of the vote.

Thousands of candidates competed for seats on the country's legislative assembly. President Joseph Kabila was expected to fend of challenges from a handful of candidates and win re-election.

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Sheka was among the candidates running for legislative office. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for him on mass rape charges in January.

Witnesses said armed members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and the Mai Mai militia were behind widespread sexual violence in DRC. The FDLR is linked to the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

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