Security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo must observe restraint in their handling of rival protests in the capital Kinshasa on 29 and 31 July, said Amnesty International today.
The ruling coalition – Majorité Présidentielle – has called a rally in support of proposed talks on the electoral process, two days before the opposition coalition – Rassemblement des Forces du Changement – holds a rally demanding that the polls are held on schedule in November, as required by the Constitution.
“The authorities must facilitate the right to peaceful assembly for all, including opposition supporters protesting election delays that they regard as a tactic to prolong President Joseph Kabila’s stay in power,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
Six people were killed by unidentified assailants in the volatile east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, amid a spike in violence in the restive region, a local official said Saturday. “Six people of all ethnic backgrounds were killed” on Friday night in Bwalanda, said Alphonse Mahano, a local delegate of North Kivu province.
Mahano was referring to the Hutu, Hunde and Nande groups that live in Bwalanda, which faces the Rwandan border. A military official confirmed the deadly attack, but provided no further details.