Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The opposition in the Democratic Republic of Congo has announced today, February 16, a day of protest, in which citizens are called not go to work or to school or to the streets. This is called "journée ville morte" (literally "day of the dead city") convened to reaffirm respect for the Constitution and to protest against the delayed presidential election.
Opposition and civil society suspect that the government and the Electoral Commission wants to postpone the election schedule to allow President Joseph Kabila, whose second term is about to expire, to remain in power.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, there is no traffic in Kinshasa today, indicating a lack of movement in the streets. The buses run empty while students did not go to school.
The date of February 16 was chosen in memory of the bloody repression of the "Christian march" called by the Catholic Church on February 16, 1992, to ask a democratic opening.
On 12 January, in a letter addressed to all the Congolese, the National Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO) had announced it had decided to cancel the demonstrations which they had planned to organize in every diocese on February 16, for the "consolidation of democracy", to avoid this initiative to be "manipulated for political purposes" (see Fides 23/01/2016). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 16/02/2016)