DRC police fire tear gas at protesters in Kinshasa

2015-01-19 14:08
(Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

(Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

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

Kinshasa - Security forces fired tear gas at hundreds of rock-throwing protesters in Democratic Republic of Congo's capital on Monday as opposition parties try to block election reforms that may delay elections due in 2016.

Smoke billowed into the air as tyres burned in the streets of Kinshasa, where police in riot gear and armed presidential guards were deployed. Two military helicopters flew overhead. There were also demonstrations in Goma, the main city in eastern Congo.

The protests are against a revised election law that requires a national census be carried out before elections, a move that could delay the polls by years and allow President Joseph Kabila to put off standing down.

The bill was approved over the weekend by the lower house of parliament and was due to be examined by the senate on Monday.

Opposition parties said their leaders, who had called on followers to occupy parliament, were unable to join the protests as their offices were surrounded by security forces.

Critics call the reform a "constitutional coup" but the government says the census is a necessary part of the electoral process in the vast, mineral-rich country of 65 million people.

Kabila's rivals have so far struggled to mobilise large groups, partly because of fears of heavy-handed police tactics, and crowds have in the past been easily dispersed. Ahead of Monday's march, opposition leaders called on supporters to show more resistance and to fight back against police.

Police fired tear gas on a crowd of more than 1 000 people in the eastern city of Goma on Monday. A Reuters reporter saw at least two people with bullet wounds in the streets.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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.