DR Congo police quash banned Kinshasa protest

Monday November 22 2021
Protest pic

Police chief Sylvano Kasongo told reporters the contingent would remain deployed all day if necessary. PHOTO | FILE

By AFP

Kinshasa. Police turned out in force on Monday to quash a banned opposition protest in Kinshasa to demand the neutrality of the electoral commission, making several arrests, an AFP journalist reported.

By early morning, security forces had closed off all access roads to the headquarters of the electoral commission in the DR Congo capital.

The offices of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) are located on a major artery in the centre of Kinshasa.

By mid-morning, around 100 protesters turned up and were immediately turned away by police, who detained some of them.

"Look at this deployment! It's like we were at war," fumed one of the protesters, Fidele Likinda, a lawmaker of the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD).

Police chief Sylvano Kasongo told reporters the contingent would remain deployed all day if necessary.

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A number of parties and movements including secular church groups had called for a "sit-in" to protest the recent nomination of an associate of President Felix Tshisekedi to head CENI.

Authorities allowed a march on the same theme to go ahead on November 13, but banned Monday's protest as well as one called for Saturday