UCF Global Perspectives


Deadly Anti-Government Protests in DRC

Bernice Lauredan, Intern, Human Rights and Women’s Rights

September 20, 2016

At least 17 people were killed in anti-government protests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Monday (AP). The deadly clash between protestors and police left three policemen and 14 civilians dead, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Claude Pero Luwara (Reuters). Thousands marched through the capital city of Kinshasa to protest a delay in the scheduled November 27 presidential election (Reuters). Over the weekend, the DRC’s electoral commission petitioned the constitutional court to delay the election until next year (AP). This delay could leave incumbent President Joseph Kabila in office past the end of his term in late December (AP).

Kabila has refused to publicly state whether he plans to seek re-election, though he is constitutionally prohibited from serving another term (AP). Electoral experts agree that it would now be impossible to organize elections before the late-December end of Kabila’s legal mandate (Human Rights Watch). The ruling party has held talks regarding a transitional government but failed to include key opposition leaders in the national dialogue (AP). In response to the protest, the government has banned demonstrations against Kabila (Al Jazeera). The mineral-rich yet impoverished state has never experienced a peaceful transition of power (Reuters).







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