Congo security forces accused of killing two during anti-government protests | Tunisia News Gazette

Congo security forces accused of killing two during anti-government protests

Congolese security forces shot dead two men on Sunday during protests against President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down from office, Human Rights Watch said.

Catholic activists had called for protests after Sunday mass, one year after Kabila committed to holding an election to choose his successor by the end of 2017 – an election that has now been delayed until December 2018.

The delay has fuelled suspicions Kabila will try to remove constitutional term limits that forbid him from running again. That in turn has raised fears the country will slide back into the kind of civil war that killed millions at the turn of the century.

The two men were killed outside St. Alphonse church in the Matete district of Kinshasa, the capital, according to Ida Sawyer, HRW’s Central Africa director.

Police spokesman Pierrot Mwanamputu denied security forces had used live fire during the protests. “We are operating in the daytime. Everyone is watching us. It’s not the night,” he said.

About 50 people were arrested in Kinshasa and at least seven seriously wounded by gunfire, Georges Kapiamba, a human rights activist, said. Another 25 were arrested and three more seriously injured in the southeastern town of Kamina, he said.

Mwanamputu confirmed the police had arrested protesters who had barricaded roads and set tires alight but did not know how many.

At the Paroisse Saint Michel in Kinshasa’s Bandalungwa district, security forces fired teargas into the church, creating panic, opposition leader Vital Kamerhe, who was present at the mass, told Reuters.

Source: TAP News Agency

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