DRC Police Crackdown on Opposition Protest

DRC Police Crackdown on Opposition Protest

Police on Tuesday dispersed protesters in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, by firing teargas and bullets into the air.

The protesters had gathered outside the house of Etienne Tshisekedi, the opposition figurehead who died last month.

Reuters news agency shared photos of protesters, some badly injured, being carried away from the scene.

The move came hours after a breakdown in talks aimed at securing the peaceful departure from power of President Joseph Kabila.

Earlier, Tshisekedi’s party called on the outside world to stop recognising Kabila as president. His mandate expired in December and the opposition claims the government sabotaged efforts to offer him a peaceful exit after 17 years in power.

On Monday night, bishops who had mediated between the government and opposition called off the talks. They said Congo’s politicians were acting selfishly and not in the interest of the people.

It’s unclear what will happen next. So far protests have been sporadic and police have quelled them. But there is deep frustration in Kinshasa where businesses have stayed shut and public transport is at a standstill.