DRC intelligence agents arrest activists in Goma

2015-03-17 15:22


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Goma - Congolese intelligence agents detained at least 10 people in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Tuesday as they attempted to protest against arrests of pro-democracy activists in the capital two days ago, witnesses and an intelligence agent said on Tuesday.

The arrests, following the detentions on Sunday, come at a sensitive time in Congolese politics. President Joseph Kabila is due to step down next year when his second mandate expires but critics accuse his camp of scheming for ways to extend his term.

Activists attempted a sit-in outside the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) building in the eastern city of Goma on Tuesday but agents came out of the building and began hitting them and threatening them with a shovel, two witnesses said.

"About 12 people from [Congolese youth movement] Lucha were in the process of chanting and waving banners when about a dozen ANR agents came and pushed everyone to the ground," said Alexis Bouvy, from Belgian organisation Local Voices who attended the event and was briefly detained.

The remainder of the protesters, including several Congolese journalists were still in detention, he added.

Security forces arrested around 40 people on Sunday, including a US diplomat, as they broke up a news conference in Kinshasa attended by activists, journalists and musicians from around the region. The diplomat was later freed.
Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  us  |  security  |  central africa

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