Catholic church backs DR Congo protests

The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo has thrown its weight behind the protest against President Kabila extending his term in the office as President.

The country’s citizens were called to peacefully oppose the president’s move to delay the elections until census is held in the country. The protests so has has not been without some bloodshed, as about 11 people has reportedly been killed.

It is the worst unrest in the capital, Kinshasa, since the riots which broke out after Mr Kabila won a second term in disputed elections in 2011.

Mr Kabila, who first took power in 2001 following the assassination of his father Laurent, is constitutionally barred from running for another term in elections due next year.

The opposition maintained that government has some hidden plans for a census to delay the poll so that Kabila can stay in power. The government admits the election could be delayed, but says the census is vital to ensure polls are free and fair.

The Catholic Church, the largest in DR Congo, has shut its schools as violent protests continued in Kinshasa for a third day.

The BBC reports from the city that security forces and protesters clashed again at the government-run University of Kinshasa, the focal point of protests.

Demonstrators said that security forces fired live ammunition, killing four of them. There is no independent confirmation of this.

During a visit to the campus, the reporter saw many buildings gutted by fire, including dormitories for female students.

Windows had been shattered, and the impact of bullets was clearly visible.

Radio France International, the main foreign broadcaster in DR Congo, has been pulled off air, our reporter says.


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