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DR Congo: anti-Western protests take place in Kinshasa

Protests in Kinshasa, DR Congo.   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

Demonstrations have been taking place in recent days in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, with crowds protesting against Western governments.

The protesters accuse Western governments of failing to use their influence to curb violence in the east of the country and, specifically, prevent Rwanda's presumed involvement in the conflict.

Anti-Western protests

Demonstrators gathered in front of the embassies of the United States and other Western countries and throughout the city centre over the weekend.

On Monday, they burnt the US and Belgian flags, while one crowd burnt tires in front of the UN MONUSCO headquarters.

Police responded by firing tear gas, while many international schools and foreign-owned shops remained closed as a precaution.

The DRC's Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula on Sunday assured Western diplomats and UN officials that the government will protect them.

Eastern DRC conflict

The protests come following advances by the M23 rebel group in recent weeks.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in the Masisi region to seek refuge in the city of Goma, following deadly attacks by group.

Rwanda has been accused by the DRC, the United Nations and numerous Western governments, including the United States and France , of backing the group.

Kigali continues to deny the accusations.

M23 is one of dozens of armed groups in the east, where conflict has plagued the region for decades, as rebels battle for control of the mineral-rich lands.

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