Geneva — Attempts by authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to crack down on dissent during tense vote counting could “backfire”, the UN said on Friday, warning it is “watching carefully” as events unfold. Elections held on Sunday will determine who succeeds President Joseph Kabila, at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country for nearly 18 years. Authorities have restricted internet access, blocked French public-service broadcaster Radio France Internationale and forced its correspondent out of the country. “This being a very sensitive, very tense period, we are concerned that these efforts to silence dissent could backfire considerably when the results are announced,” a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights office, Ravina Shamdasani, told reporters in Geneva. “We are watching carefully and we are calling on all sides to refrain from the use of violence,” she added. Opposition fears are running high that the result will be rigged to favour Kabila’s preferred successo...

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