Congo demo in London ends with 143 arrests


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The Independent Online

Shops and cars were smashed, and passers-by threatened at random, as demonstrators protesting over the elections in Congo clashed with police in central London last night.

At least 143 were arrested after a peaceful protest in Whitehall turned ugly. A breakaway group of protesters were involved in a series of disturbances as they tried to block roads and halt Tube trains at stations. Police said 110 were arrested on suspicion of affray. The Congolese elections were bitterly contested amid ongoing protests and outbreaks of violence in the African country.

President Joseph Kabila won another term with 49 per cent of the vote, according to figures published yesterday. It was the first election held without international help and the protestors say problems with the polls were ignored by the world's media. Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi gained 32 per cent of the vote.