Protests Rock DR Congo As President Joseph Kabila Refuses To Step Down  

By Ikenga Chronicles December 20, 2016

Protests Rock DR Congo As President Joseph Kabila Refuses To Step Down   

 

The Democratic Republic of Congo was literally on fire as at Tuesday morning as police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of youths who gathered in the streets of Kinshasa to demand that President Joseph Kabila steps down after his mandate expired.

Kabila has vowed to remain in power despite the expiry of his constitutional mandate and with no election to pick a successor, scheduled.

Sporadic gunfire crackled in several districts of the capital Kinshasa, a city of 12 million, as measures to thwart dissent fanned fears of more violence.

“I think there will be trouble. The people are saying Kabila has to leave” said student Joe Doublier as youths burn tyres and pieces of wood in the streets.

“It’s been 16 years and nothing has changed” he said, referring to the time Kabila has been in power since his father was assassinated in 2001.

“I launch a solemn appeal to the Congolese people to not recognise the … illegal and illegitimate authority of Joseph Kabila and to peacefully resist (his) coup d’etat” opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi said in a video posted on YouTube.

Scores of protesters have been arrested in the past 24 hours, mostly in the eastern city of Goma, according to human rights groups. Authorities have blocked most social media and outlawed protests in Kinshasa.

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