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Kinshasa Ups Security ahead of Games

The Democratic Republic of Congo has stepped up security in the capital Kinshasa amid concerns about the safety of athletes taking part in the international “Jeux de la Francophonie” or Francophone Games starting this week. Around 4,500 additional police backed by state security agents have been deployed before the event. Authorities have scrambled to finish tracks, sports stadiums, and accommodations in time for the July 28 start date. Some participants have also voiced concerns about safety in Kinshasa, where petty crime, muggings, and kidnappings for ransom are relatively common. The lack of security in the city is the latest setback for organisers of the 10-day Francophone Games, which had already been pushed back two years from 2021 to bring infrastructure up to international standards. Around 3,000 athletes from more than 40 countries will take part in the games, which are held every four years with the aim of promoting the French language. Sports include athletics, basketball, football, wrestling and cycling.