SA slams 'violent' DRC protests

2016-12-20 21:30
Joesph Kabila (File: AFP)

Joesph Kabila (File: AFP)

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Cape Town – The South African government has expressed concern over the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following protests that resulted in several protesters being arrested in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Police fired several rounds of rubber bullets and stun grenades after protesters started pelting the DRC embassy with large stones and plastic yellow black parking barriers and shouting "Kabila must go!".

Their protest was part of two days of action in the DRC and in front of the country's embassies worldwide against President Joseph Kabila, whose mandated ended on Monday.

In a statement, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) condemned the outbreak of violence, saying that such incidences threatened "the hard-won democratic gains made by the DRC through the past two elections".

Also read: AS IT HAPPENED: Congolese protest in Pretoria. 

"The South African government calls on all parties to seek only peaceful solutions to the political developments in the DRC in line with the Constitution of the DRC and the Security Council Resolution 2277 (2016)," the statement said.

South Africa was one of the countries that assisted the DRC in negotiating and organising the country's first democratic elections in 2006.

The government called on all stakeholders to uphold the principles, ideals and aspirations of the Congolese people as enshrined in the central African country's constitution.

"South Africa continues to call on all parties to exercise restraint and to take urgent steps to end the violence and restore the protection given to the people of DRC through its constitution."

Government also urged the Congolese Diaspora to work through their political leaders in the DRC, and "not to resort to violence".

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  sa  |  southern africa  |  central africa

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