AFRICA/DR CONGO - Opposition launches operation "Dead City" and civil disobedience to send Kabila away

Thursday, 27 July 2017 politics  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - Two days of "dead city" throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo to "send" President Joseph Kabila away have been announced by the opposition which recognizes itself in the "Rassemblement". The two days of protest will be held on August 8 and 9, which will be followed by other protests.
Kabila's mandate expired on 20 December 2016, the date by which general elections were to be held. According to the December 31 agreements, mediated by Catholic Bishops, Kabila remained in power to appoint a government of national unity in charge of holding elections by 2017. The government formed in May by Premier Bruno Tshibala does not include representatives of the Opposition gathered in the Rassemblement that disputes its legitimacy. It seems much more difficult to organize elections by the end of the year (see Fides 20/7/2017).
After the two days of "dead city", the Rassemblement have announced meetings to be held on 25 August in the capitals of the 25 provinces and four gatherings in 4 different parts of the capital, Kinshasa, which has 10 million inhabitants. "In the absence of the convocation of voters, by September 30, Joseph Kabila will not be recognized as president from 1 October", said a spokesman of the Rassemblement. As of 1 October, therefore, the Congolese are invited to civil disobedience by not paying taxes or electricity and water bills to the two state-owned companies that have the monopoly of supplying these services. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/72017)