AFRICA/DR CONGO - General strike called by the opposition

Tuesday, 4 April 2017 politics  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Residents in key cities joined a general strike called by the opposition to force Congolese President Joseph Kabila to implement a power sharing deal signed on December 31, 2016 to provide the Democratic Republic of Congo of a government of national unity in order to lead the Country to the presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.
After the failure of the talks mediated by the Bishops for the implementation, there is a lot of tension in the Country, fueled by the violence in Kasai, in North Kivu and Katanga.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, the strike saw the vast participation of people in the capital Kinshasa and in the second largest city, Lubumbashi, as well as in Goma, in Mbuji-Mayi and Kananga.
Last week the Council renewed the mandate of the MONUSCO mission in Congo, the UN's biggest and costliest peacekeeping operation. Some 500 soldiers are expected to return home.
A statement sent to Agenzia Fides by CEPADHO, a local humanitarian NGO of North Kivu, believes that the Blue Helmets contingent of MONUSCO should be repatriated and that instead the Rapid Intervention Force should be strengthened, a specialized unit that has proven so far to be the only one able to intervene effectively to protect the local population from about 70 armed groups operating in this province in the east. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/04/2017)