Cops ar­rest more than 120 pro­test­ers op­pos­ing Ka­bila’s rule

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

KINSHASA: Po­lice have ar­rested over 120 crit­ics of Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila, civil so­ci­ety ac­tivists and jour­nal­ists amid a mount­ing po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in the Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of the Congo (DRC).

At least three peo­ple were injured af­ter po­lice fired on the pro­test­ers.

The ar­rests follow a bru­tal dis­per­sal of peace­ful protests held by ac­tivists de­mand­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of the elec­toral cal­en­dar for the pres­i­dency and calling for the hold­ing of elec­tions be­fore the end of the year.

The skir­mishes oc­curred in the ma­jor cities of Beni, Butembo, Bukavu, Goma, the cap­i­tal Kinshasa, Lubum­bashi and Mban­daka.

Among those de­tained were eight me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in­clud­ing two mem­bers of the in­ter­na­tional press corps.

The jour­nal­ists have been re­leased fol­low­ing the in­ter­ven­tion of the UN Mis­sion in DRC (Monusco).

Ma­man Sidikou, spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the UN and head of Monusco, ex­pressed con­cern at re­stric­tions im­posed on peace­ful as­sem­bly and ar­rests of those seek­ing to ex­press their po­lit­i­cal views.

He also called in politi­cians to re­frain from rais­ing ten­sions fur­ther.

Cen­tral Africa’s big­gest coun­try has been riven by strife af­ter Ka­bila clung on to power at the ex­piry of his term last year. Elec­tions set for last Novem­ber were post­poned, but must be held by the end of 2017. A deal reached in De­cem­ber bars Ka­bila from con­test­ing. CAJ News

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