DRC cops fire shots to disperse protesters

2015-01-20 15:29
Police try to clear a main road as anti government protesters burn tyres during a protest against a new law that could delay elections to be held in the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. (John Bompengo, AP)

Police try to clear a main road as anti government protesters burn tyres during a protest against a new law that could delay elections to be held in the city of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. (John Bompengo, AP)

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Kinshasa - Police fired shots in the air to disperse crowds protesting for a second day on Tuesday against a proposed revision to the Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral code that could delay a presidential election slated for 2016.

Students burned tyres and barricaded the road leading to the University of Kinshasa in the south of the city, witnesses said. At least four people died in clashes on Monday.

The senate was set on Tuesday to examine the bill that would require a census before 2016 elections. Critics say any census would take at least four years and is a ploy to extend President Joseph Kabila's tenure beyond the end of his mandate.

Kabila won elections in 2006 and 2011 and is constitutionally ineligible to stand for a third term.

In another sign of political tension, opposition leader Jean-Claude Muyambo was arrested by armed men in hoods at his residence in Kinshasa, said Vital Kamerhe, president of the opposition Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) party.

Muyambo defected last November from Kabila's ruling coalition. Government spokesperson Lambert Mende said his arrest ordered by the public prosecutor's office was over a complaint about a real estate sale and had "no link to political issues."

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

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