DR Congo: At least one dead in latest anti-Kabila protests

Latest news

    A protester, who was shot in the leg, lies in a hospital in Kinshasa on Sunday [Goran Tomasevic/Reuters]

    At least one person has been killed and two others injured in the Democratic Republic of Congo as security forces dispersed anti-government protesters, local media and human rights activists said.

    Security forces shot live ammunition and tear gas at demonstrators as they tried to march in the capital, Kinshasa, on Sunday to demand that DRC President Joseph Kabila step down.

    Organised by the Catholic Church, the marches were meant to start after Sunday mass, but armed forces surrounded the city’s main churches and blocked several roads, Reuters news agency reported.

    Jean-Mobert Senga, a DRC researcher for Amnesty International, said security forces fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters in the city’s Saint Augustin and Saint Benoit neighbourhoods.

    “The population is fuming in anger in the neighbourhoods,” he wrote on Twitter.

    Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director for Human Rights Watch, said a Congolese activist was “shot dead” outside St Benoit church, “as security forces disperse peaceful protesters yet again”.

    Internet and SMS service had been cut since Sunday morning, Sawyer wrote on Twitter, amid “reports of others wounded, arrested across [the] country”.

    Calls for elections

    The Catholic Church has organised a handful of protests since the end of last year after the DRC failed to hold presidential elections.

    Under a 2016 agreement between the Congolese government and opposition groups brokered by the church, Kabila agreed to organise presidential, legislative and provincial elections by the end of 2017.

    But at the end of December, the president announced the vote would be postponed until the end of 2018 to account for delays in voter registration.

    {articleGUID}

    Election officials have hinted that polls may not be possible even then because of financial and logistical constraints.

    The delays have led to increasing frustration among many Congolese citizens.

    In January, at least five protesters were killed after security forces opened fire on banned demonstrations in Kinshasa.

    Though led by church-affiliated activists, the protests have been supported by Congolese civil society groups, who fear Kabila is trying to “establish a dictatorship” in the country.

    DRC “is going through a particularly turbulent time in its history”, the Civil Society Action Collective, a coalition of civil society groups, said in a statement before Sunday’s march.

    “The power in place persists by executing a scorched-earth strategy to keep itself in power,” the coalition said.

    View the original article: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/dr-congo-dead-latest-anti-kabila-protests-180225144103773.html

    One of the main organising groups also wrote in a statement ahead of the protests that, “our people no longer believe in the political will of our current leaders to ensure a peaceful transition of power”, Reuters reported.

    In the same category are

    At least 166 missing after ferry sinks in Indonesia Ferry tragedies are common in Indonesia, a country with weak enforcement of safety regulations At least 166 people are believed to be missing after...
    World Refugee Day: UNHCR head flies to Niger with abused migrants Refugees evacuated from Libya are learning French in Niamey, Niger Niamey, Niger - In the early hours of Wednesday, 122 refugees, mostly nationals ...
    US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council Haley called the global body a 'cesspool of political bias' The United States has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council accusing i...
    Deadly flood hits Ivory Coast A woman sits between her belongings and the debris after flood in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, June 19, 2018 At least 15 people have died and hundreds hav...
    Italy’s Salvini causes outrage over Roma census plan Interior Minister Matteo Salvini defended his plans to count Italy's Roma community Human rights activists and politicians in Italy and abroad have...
    Mali says troops implicated in killings after mass graves found Human rights groups accuse the Malian military of conducting extrajudicial killings and kidnappings against suspected sympathisers of armed groups ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.