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Security forces were deployed across the city of 10 million people and witnesses reported to AFP various police operations against protesters at churches. Courtesy Photo.

Several Hurt in Crackdown on DR Congo Protests

The protesters were demanding that Kabila promise he will not seek to further extend his time in power in Democratic Republic of Congo, a mostly Catholic former Belgian colony.
posted onJanuary 1, 2018
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Several people were hurt when Congolese security forces violently broke up demonstrations on Sunday against President Joseph Kabila and an officer threatened to shoot journalists covering the unrest, AFP reporters witnessed.

AFP counted about 10 people hurt including a priest with an injury to the face and a woman in her sixties with a gash on her forehead, after police broke up gathering at churches in central Kinshasa.

The protesters were demanding that Kabila promise he will not seek to further extend his time in power in Democratic Republic of Congo, a mostly Catholic former Belgian colony.

Kabila has been in power since 2001. Elections to replace him have been delayed and are currently set for December 2018.

Officers also detained 12 altar boys dressed in their liturgical robes outside one church as they led a protest march.

The Catholic church had led calls for peaceful protests on Sunday, with all the vast central African country's main opposition and civil society groups expressing support.

Security forces were deployed across the city of 10 million people and witnesses reported to AFP various police operations against protesters at churches.

One army officer threatened a team of AFP reporters covering the crackdown at St. Michael's church in Kinshasa.

"If you don't clear out of here, I'll order that you be shot at," he said.

"Press, or not, no one is allowed inside. What's more, you have a white man with you -- that's a race that causes us problems."

A journalist for French radio station RFI was briefly detained, AFP reporters saw.

By AFP

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