UN warns DRC on eve of protest rallies

2017-11-14 17:35


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

Kinshasa - The United Nations on Tuesday called on Democratic Republic of Congo's government to allow peaceful demonstrations on the eve of expected protests against President Joseph Kabila.

In a statement, the UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO urged the authorities "to respect the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Congolese Constitution, including freedom of assembly and of demonstration."

The authorities, it said, should "instruct defence and security forces to respect the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality, consistent with international standards."

Mineral-rich but chronically poor, politically unstable and saddled with a reputation for entrenched corruption, the Democratic Republic of Congo faces a feared flare-up of violence over Kabila's decision to stay in office.

He was scheduled to have stepped down in December 2016 after a constitutional maximum of two terms in office.

But as protests and a bloody crackdown swelled, a deal was brokered by the Catholic church enabling him to stay in office pending elections to be held by the end of this year.

Those elections have now been delayed.

The country's election body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), blames the delay on compiling an electoral roll in parts of the sprawling country that have been troubled by unrest.

Pressured by the international community, led by the United States, the ballot will be held on December 23 2018, according to a CENI announcement on November 5.

A large part of the country's political opposition, along with grassroots groups such as Lucha and Filimba, have scheduled rallies on Wednesday to protest against the 2018 date.

Demonstrations against Kabila have been met with a heavy police response since September 2016.

Clashes in the eastern city of Goma last month left four civilians and a policeman dead and scores of activists were arrested.

The MONUSCO statement also reminded citizens "that the right to demonstrate implies abstaining from resorting to any form of violence."

Kabila took over as president in January 2001 in wartime after the death of his father, Laurent Kabila, who was assassinated. He was first elected for a five-year term in 2006.

Under DRC's constitution, he is banned from seeking a third mandate, but is authorised to stay in office until his successor is elected.

Read more on:    un  |  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.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

QA Technical Tester

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Johannesburg

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

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.


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.