- Title: Congo police shut down anti-Kabila rally in Kinshasa
- Date: 5th November 2016
- Summary: KINSHASA, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (NOVEMBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS OUTSIDE THE HOUSE OF OPPOSITION LEADER ETIENNE TSHISEKEDI GROUP OF SUPPORTERS TALKING OUTSIDE MORE OF SUPPORTERS PORTRAIT OF TSHISEKEDI (LEFT), AND A SIGN (RIGHT) READING (French): "RESPECT OUR CONSTITUTION ARTICLE 220" (SOUNDBITE) (French) JONATHAN MUTANDA, SUPPORTER OF THE OPPOSITION "UNION FOR DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL PROGRESS" PARTY, SAYING: "Now that it (the demonstration) has been banned we are just waiting for orders from our president (party leader Tshisekedi). If he tells us to go home, we go home and wait for December 19 (the end of President Joseph Kabila's mandate) when it will all finish. It's all going to come to a head on December 19. We are really determined." POLICE WALKING IN A FILE ON THE ROAD JEAN MARC KABUND, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE OPPOSITION "UNION FOR DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL PROGRESS" PARTY, SITTING DOWN (SOUNDBITE) (French) JEAN MARC KABUND, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE OPPOSITION "UNION FOR DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL PROGRESS" PARTY, SAYING: "You know we face no choice with this situation. The government has decided to come out in force, it is using weapons and the police and the army and now we have to think about what we do. Because we face a regime that is determined to muscle the opposition, to scare and terrorise the Congolese people." POLICE ON THE STREET
- Embargoed: 20th November 2016 14:32
- Keywords: Congo protest demonstration violence Kinshasa opposition Kabila
- Location: KINSHASA, DRC
- City: KINSHASA, DRC
- Country: Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0015762ZWN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Plans by Congo's opposition supporters to march against President Joseph Kabila in the capital of Kinshasa on Saturday (November 5) were derailed after police descended on the city to enforce a ban on political demonstrations.
The rally was intended to denounce plans by Kabila to remain in office beyond the end of his mandate this year.
Instead police in riot gear and armoured trucks patrolled the perimeter of the field where opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party, was meant to address supporters.
Police fired tear gas early that morning to disperse opposition supporters seeking to defy the ban outside Tshisekedi's house in the district of Limete, witnesses said.
Demonstrations were banned by Kinshasa's provincial governor after September violence that killed more than 50 people in anti-government protests.
But an opposition supporter told Reuters they were still determined to oust Kabila by the end of his mandate on December 19.
French public media outlet Radio France Internationale and the U.N.-funded Radio Okapi had their broadcasts disabled on Saturday morning, as often occurs when the opposition protests.
Kabila, who succeeded his assassinated father in 2001 and went on to win disputed elections in 2006 and 2011, is required by constitutional term limits to step down on December 19.
While the rally's suppression marked a setback for an opposition that has generally struggled to mobilise large numbers in the streets, its leaders vowed new efforts to raise pressure on Kabila to quit power.
"You know we face no choice with this situation," said the UDPS' secretary-general, Jean Marc Kabund. "The government has decided to come out in force, it is using weapons and the police and the army and now we have to think about what we do. Because we face a regime that is determined to muscle the opposition, to scare and terrorise the Congolese people."
Kabila's ruling coalition and part of the opposition agreed last month to delay a presidential vote until April 2018, citing a lack of financing and logistical problems registering millions of voters.
The main opposition bloc, however, has rejected the accord, which prompted September's deadly protests.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for the restoration of peaceful demonstrations.
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