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Police intervene as rival political parties clash again in DRC

Congolese policemen are seen outside the Parliament in Kinshasa   -  
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ALEXIS HUGUET/AFP or licensors

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Police were deployed in DR Congo's parliament on Tuesday on the second day of clashes sparked by a crisis between Tshisekedi and supporters of his predecessor Joseph Kabila.

At least three people were hurt as rival groups, including lawmakers, brawled and hurled objects before police restored order.

The violence between the two sides started after Tshisekedi said on Sunday he planned to form a new coalition in order to push through reforms.

He warned he might be forced to dissolve parliament and hold fresh elections.

Meanwhile, a petition was filed on Tuesday for the resignation of the president of the National Assembly and Kabila supporter, Jeanine Mabunda, and other members.

The session was mainly attended by deputies who support President Tshisekedi, it was attended by 279 of the 500 lawmakers, said Mboso N'kodia Mpwanga, who chaired the session.

No roll call was made and Mabunda was not present.

The petitions will be considered in a plenary session on Thursday.

Kabila's supporters, the Common Front for the Congo (FCC), which holds more than 300 out of the 500 seats in the National Assembly, accused Tshisekedi of breaching the constitution.

After pro-Tshisekedi lawmakers on Monday trashed the assembly's podium, the plenary room was closed, even though legislators on both sides had called for a legislative session.

The tensions have sparked international alarm, reviving memories of the Democratic Republic of Congo's long record of volatility.

The African Union called on the country's leaders to "work resolutely and sincerely for national harmony and to preserve peace and stability".

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