Authorities in DR Congo have banned political rallies this week in the capital Kinshasa because of tensions between supporters of President Felix Tshisekedi and those of former leader Joseph Kabila, police said Sunday.
Tshisekedi was elected in December to replace Kabila who presided over sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country for nearly two decades.
Tensions rose in the capital after the youth wing of Tshisekedi’s Democracy and Social Progress party (UDPS) announced it would hold a protest against the candidacy of a former justice minister for the senate presidency. In response, the pro-Kabila Red Berets movement said it would hold a counter-march to support the candidacy of Alexis Thambwe, who is considered by many a hardliner from the Kabila regime.
Kinshasa police chief General Sylvano Kasongo told state television that given the tensions in the capital, Kinshasa’s governor had banned all political rallies for this week.
Second protest ban in weeks
Similarly in June, Kinshasa’s Governor Gentiny Ngobila announced a ban on a “peaceful march” by the opposition as the nation prepared to celebrate its 59th indepence day. The new President of the Republic, Felix Tshisekedi, declared himself “in agreement” with the ban on the march of his former allies of the opposition on French media platforms. The president who has never banned a protest ever since he got the top job argued that authorities in DRC have the impression that there are some who confuse democracy and anarchy.