Sept. 2 - Police fire tear gas at opposition protesters in Congo's capital as tensions rise amid accusations of poll fraud. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Congolese police fired tear gas to disperse several hundred opposition supporters marching in the capital on Thursday (September 1). The demonstrators were protesting against alleged fraud in the run up to elections later this year. The protest is the latest sign of growing tension in Democratic Republic of Congo before presidential and parliamentary polls in November, the second set of elections since the last war ended in 2003. Analysts say the votes could be hit by delays and a lack of confidence in the process. The demonstration had been authorised by the city authorities, but police intervened when protesters disrupted traffic and became violent, Congo's chief of police, General Charles Bisengimana said. A Reuters reporter said about three hundred supporters of leading opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi, carrying banners and palm fronds, tried to reach the offices of the electoral commission in the centre of Kinshasa. The city's main boulevard was briefly blocked and protesters were dispersed by hundreds of armed police who fired tear gas before calm was restored, the reporter said.