Home  >>  News >> All around >> Out of Rwanda >> 

More than 50 left dead in DRCongo clashes

50 plus people were killed on Monday in clashes between protesters and security forces in the Congolese capital Kinshasa, opposition groups said, calling for further anti-government demonstrations.


The government earlier said that at least 17 had died in the violence in Kinshasa ahead of a planned opposition rally, but had warned that the death toll could rise.

"The coalition (of opposition groups) deplores the number of victims, more than 50 dead at this point, victims of the firing of real bullets by the police and the republican guard," it said in a statement.

It also called on people to gather on Tuesday "to keep up without hesitation the demands made today."

The clashes Monday were the worst violence in the capital since January 2015 when a police crackdown on another opposition protest left several dozen people dead.

Interior Minister Evariste Boshab described the violence as an attempted "uprising" and said the victims included three police officers.

The main opposition parties had called for a nationwide demonstration to "give notice" to Kabila, whose mandate expires on December 20.

Although Kabila is banned by the constitution from running again, he has not made any move to schedule elections, fuelling fears he will seek to extend his stay in office.

In May, the Constitutional Court said Kabila could remain in office in a caretaker capacity until an election is held, triggering a wave of angry protests.

’Not acceptable’
France on Monday described the unrest as "very dangerous and extremely worrying" and urged Kabila to lay out a clear timetable for a vote.

"What matters is the date of elections," French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

"If they’re delayed endlessly, that means that Kabila intends to stay in power," he said.

"That’s a situation that is not acceptable."

Former colonial power Belgium called in a foreign ministry statement for "restraint" and urged all political groups to "quickly" organise elections.

So far, there has been no move to schedule elections and at this stage, it appears practically impossible to organise a poll before the end of the year.

A fringe opposition group has been meeting with the government in a bid to organise a schedule for elections, but veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi has refused to participate in the talks which are due to end on Saturday.

Last week, Amnesty International accused Kinshasa of the "systematic repression" of those seeking Kabila’s departure.

’A failed uprising’

Monday’s rally had been due to start in Kinshasa in the early afternoon, but during the morning, scuffles broke out between stone-throwing youths and anti-riot police.

Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of stone-throwers as they tried to march on parliament ahead of the demonstration, which was promptly cancelled by the authorities.

"Kinshasa just experienced an uprising which ended in failure," Boshab said, accusing demonstrators of "deliberately" ignoring a schedule which had been agreed with the authorities.

Jimirasire

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter

Leave your comment

Your Name

Your Email

Your comment

Close X