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UN condemns arrest of 32 people during "dead city" strike in DRC

UN condemns arrest of 32 people during "dead city" strike in DRC

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The United Nations has condemned the arrest of 32 people on Tuesday during the “dead city” strike organised by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) opposition.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] we recorded 32 cases of arrests by the police and the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), Jose Maria Aranaz, the Director of the Joint United Nations Office for Human Man in DRC (UNJHRO) told AFP.

He said that the arrests took place in the capital Kinshasa and Mbuji-Mayi, in the center of the country. “11 people are still under detention in Mbuji-Mayi while the others were released,” he added.

Some of the detainees were accused of “exhibiting behavior contrary to a peaceful demonstration, but there were also cases of arbitrary arrests,” Aranaz said.

On Tuesday, some Congolese opposition observed the coalition “dead city” strike called by the opposition leader to protest against the facilitator for the national political dialogue in the country.

Edem Kodjo, the African Union (AU) appointed facilitator, opened the talks on Tuesday on the time table of the polls, but the main opposition alliance led by Etienne Tshisekedi boycotted the talks arguing that it is a ploy by government to delay the vote.

Some opposition leaders however joined in the talks which are expected to last until Saturday.

Elections were due to be held in November but the country’s electoral commission said on Saturday that the voters registry will not be complete until July 2017, a strong indication that the elections will be delayed.

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