Strikes in DRC over president's poll delay

2016-10-19 12:10
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - The Congolese capital Kinshasa was gripped by a strike on Wednesday in a protest over plans by the president to stay in power beyond the end of his term in December, AFP journalists said.

The opposition called for the action to protest a deal signed on Tuesday which would keep President Joseph Kabila in power in the Democratic Republic of Congo until April 2018 by postponing this year's scheduled presidential vote.

Kabila first took office in 2001, and in 2006 a new constitutional provision limited the presidency to a two-term limit which expires on December 20.

The country's main opposition party, the UDPS, called the deal signed between authorities and fringe opposition groups a "flagrant violation" of the constitution and said the strike would show Kabila "the yellow card".

At 09:00 local time, roads in northern parts of Kinshasa - a city of 10 million people - were totally deserted and most shops closed. They would typically have been bustling ahead of the work and school day.

The upmarket Gombe district was also unusually quiet. 

And in Kasa-Vubu, a district in the south of the city, the only people on Victories Square were some 50 police officers.

National dialogue

Officers were deployed in force at other locations including parliament and at several military bases.

The only visible commercial activity taking place was women selling bread and petrol stations that were open but unused.

Shared taxis had all but stopped and private traffic was nearly non-existent.

Those public buses that were running were practically empty.

Despite the widespread strike action in Kinshasa, the situation was normal in the second city Lubumbashi.

Calls for a strike were also ignored in Bukavu, according to an AFP correspondent there.

However in Goma, eastern DRC, the call to down tools was largely followed and most shops remained closed, according to two AFP journalists.

The agreement to allow Kabila to serve into 2018 emerged after the EU threatened sanctions if the country did not hold elections in 2017.

It was concluded at "national dialogue" talks aimed at reducing tensions triggered by disquiet that the president is seeking to remain indefinitely.

But the main opposition coalition - "Rassemblement" (Gathering) - boycotted the talks, branding them a ploy by Kabila to stay in power beyond the end of his term.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.