The opposition coalition of the Democratic Republic of Congo has called for the continuation of the anti-Kabila demonstration on Tuesday despite Monday’s ban after the government announced that 17 people were killed.
Already, the offices of opposition parties Innovative Forces for Union and Solidarity (FONUS) and the Lumumbist Progressive Movement (MLP) were razed in the early hours of Tuesday with one person injured.
Two charred bodies were also found in the burning offices of the main opposition party Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) headquarters in Kinshasa.
The opposition led by veteran politician Etienne Tshisekedi of the UDPS, said in a statement that over 50 people were killed by security forces during the violence on Monday.
“The Rally regrets the many lives lost consisting over 50 dead during the demonstration. The victims were killed with live bullets by the police and the Republican Guard,” the statement said.
They denounced the ban on the demonstration calling on the people to gather on Tuesday to “intensify and amplify the demonstration [until] the final departure of Joseph Kabila as the head of the DRC.”
Gunshots and tear gas were reportedly fired by the police on Monday as clashes erupted in the morning ahead of the planned opposition demonstration against President Joseph Kabila.
According to journalists on the ground, dozens of protesters had a standoff with riot police after they threw stones at them. This prompted a reaction from the armed men.
The Minister of Interior, Evariste Boshab announced later that 17 people had been killed including 3 policemen and 14 civilians.
[UPDATE] Kinshasa clashes: At least 3 policemen and 14 civilians killed (Interior ministry) https://t.co/52h6nS21cS— africanews (@africanews) September 19, 2016
The spokesman of the government, Lambert Mende, said the violence forced the authorities to ban the demonstration.
The main opposition parties are calling for an election on the original date in November and also for Kabila to step down at the end of his term on December 20.