Dozens still in custody after DRCongo protest ban arrests: UN

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Dozens still in custody after DRCongo protest ban arrests: UN

Kinshasa, Apr 12 (AFP) The UN said some 80 people remained in custody today in DR Congo after police rounded up 132 people accused of violating a ban on protests against President Joseph Kabila on Monday.

“We registered a total 132 people arrested and up until this day around 51 have been released,” Koffi Edem Wogomebou of the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) told a media conference.

Of the total, 44 arrests were in the capital, Kinshasa, he said. Police had said there were 34 detentions in the city.

The arrests followed a call by Democratic Republic of Congo’s main opposition party for nationwide protests Monday against Kabila’s continued stay in office beyond the end of his mandate in December 2016.

The authorities had banned street protests Monday and in Kinshasa and other cities people appeared to have stayed home in fear of an outbreak of violence.

The opposition is seeking to pressure Kabila, who has ruled since 2001, to implement a power-sharing deal brokered by the Catholic church to avert a crisis, by holding elections late this year.

Under the accord, Kabila agreed to share power ahead of the polls with a prime minister from the opposition.

But last week he named as premier a dissident member of the opposition, Bruno Tshibala. The main opposition has rejected this choice as being contrary to the letter and the spirit of the power-sharing accord. (AFP) KJ

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.