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DRC: Anti-Kabila protests banned by police, streets deserted

DRC: Anti-Kabila protests banned by police, streets deserted

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have banned all political protests across the country, the move comes in the wake of opposition plans to hold anti-government demonstrations today.

A security official confirmed to local media network, UN-sponsored Radio Okapi, that all political protests would not be allowed.

Reports indicate that the usually busy streets of the capital, Kinshasa, have largely been deserted with most shops also closed.

Opposition protesters in the DRC and security forces have a history of violent clashes. Last September, scores were killed during protests calling for Kabila to step down. Similar occurrences were recorded in December 2016 upon the expiration of Kabila’s final mandate.

The main opposition coalition led by Felix Tshisekedi, had called for nationwide mass action to pile pressure on the government over its failure to implement a peace deal brokered by the Catholic Church.

According to the deal signed on the eve of this year, elections are to be held before the end of 2017 and Kabila is not eligible to file his candidacy.

President Joseph Kabila, last week, appointed a new Prime Minister. Bruno Tshibala – a former member of the main coalition, took over from Samy Badibanga. The main opposition have rejected the appointment stating that it went against the December 31 deal.

The Catholic Church backed out of the deal implementation process citing a lack of political will.

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