There was great rejoicing in the African quarter of Leopoldville, May 25, as followers of the exclusive Abako - representing the powerful Bakongo tribe - enthusiastically acclaimed party leader Joseph Kasavubu.
Newspaper headlines - cheering crowds follow Kasavubu's open car - helicopter overhead.
Kasavubu addresses crowds from Abako headquarters - people cheer.
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Background: There was great rejoicing in the African quarter of Leopoldville, May 25, as followers of the exclusive Abako - representing the powerful Bakongo tribe - enthusiastically acclaimed party leader Joseph Kasavubu.
Returning from a visit to Matadi, following the May 22 elections in Leopoldville, Kasavubu was cheered all along the route to Abako's headquarters. Jubilant Africans - wearing kodi shells, the party's symbol, round their necks and carrying banners and leopard skins, symbols of strength - gave him a rousing non-stop ovation, while an army helicopter hovered overhead, ready to call in security forces in the event of trouble.
From the balcony of the party headquarters, kasavubu acknowledged more cheers, then addressed the huge crowd. Stressing his party's calm attitude in the face of "provocation", he said: "We shall remain calm when we have won. Europeans and Africans are brothers, and now that we have gained freedom we shall begin to work hand in had with them."
As Africans and Europeans alike were waiting for final election results, not expected for another two weeks or so, a state of emergency was declared, May 25, in the Maniema region of Kivu Province, following reports of violence and intimidation during voting there. In the adjoining Kasai Province, boxes full of uncounted votes were lost when a ferryboat sank in a river near Lusambo. Reports from Luluabourg say that more than 18 tribesmen have been killed in fresh clashes between warring Luluas and Balubas.