Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The people, especially in the suburbs, took to the streets to protest. There were clashes with the police, with gunfire. We have news of a student who was killed by a stray bullet. Cars were set on fire and some shops were looted. A parish was also looted", say Church sources to Agenzia Fides from Lubumbashi, the second largest city of the Democratic Republic of Congo and former capital of the old province of Katanga. "At the moment tension has decreased, but the streets are deserted, and even public transport does not circulate, there are only the police and the army".
The people took to the streets to protest for the missing presidential elections which were to be held this year, while yesterday at midnight the second and last term of outgoing President Joseph Kabila expired. Lubumbashi is the electoral fiefdom of Moïse Katumbi, the former governor of Katanga, regarded as one of the leading candidates for Presidency, once elections are held. But Katumbi was accused of an attempted coup and has found refuge abroad (see Fides 31/05/2016).
Kabila, who intends to stay in power until the election of his successor, appointed a new government resulting from the Agreement of 18 October (see Fides 18/10/2016) between the presidential majority and the opposition. Most of the opponents, under the name "Le Rassemblement" calls instead for Kabila to leave power immediately. The leader of "Le Rassemblement", the historical opponent Etienne Tshisekedi, has appealed to the population to no longer recognize Kabila as Head of State. The capital Kinshasa, like other major Congolese cities are at a stand still, with the people locked in the house and the police who patrol the streets. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/12/2016)