DRC: 5 Dead in Protests

January 22, 2018

Five people were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday during a banned protest march against President Joseph Kabila.

According to witnesses, security forces opened fire with live rounds and tear gas on protesters who had gathered for a peaceful demonstration.

This violent crackdown comes three weeks after a dozen protesters were killed during a similar march on New Year’s Eve.

Last week, the Catholic Church called for rallies around the country, despite a government ban on all demonstrations since September 2016, when anti-Kabila protests turned violent.

Kabila has been in power since 2001, and his government has been widely criticised for corruption and incompetence.

His term ended in December 2016, but he has refused to step down.

Under an agreement brokered by the Catholic Church, Kabila was allowed to remain in power if he agreed to hold elections in 2017.

Late last year, Kabila postponed these elections, claiming that organisational problems meant that the vote would only be held on December 23, 2018.