AFRICA/DR CONGO - Success of the "dead city" protest in Kinshasa

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The population of Kinshasa participated en mass to the opposition’s call for a ‘dead city day’ – a stay-at-home strike. The opposition did not sign the agreement with the presidential majority to hold presidential elections in 2018 (see Fides 18/10/2016).
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, yesterday, 19 October, the streets and squares in many areas of the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo were deserted. Shops were closed, and only public transport circulated, which were empty. Several schools were closed. The initiative was successful also in Mbuji-Mayi, an opposition stronghold, while it seems it was ignored by the population in other cities of the DRC.
The "dead city" day was organized by "Le Rassemblement," the group of opposition parties who support candidate Etienne Tshisekedi, to send a warning to President Joseph Kabila, whose second and last term expires in two months time ( December 19).
"Le Rassemblement" wanted to remind the President that from midnight on December 19 he will no longer be the Head of State.
The agreement reached with a part of the opposition instead provides for Kabila to remain in office until the presidential elections are held in a still unspecified date in the spring of 2018. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/10/2016)