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Police shut down anti-Kabila rally in Kinshasa

By on November 5, 2016

Police in Congo’s capital Kinshasa fired tear gas on Saturday to disperse opposition supporters seeking to defy a ban on public protests and rally against plans by President Joseph Kabila to stay in power beyond the end of his mandate this year.

Outside opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi’s house, in the nearby district of Limete, police fired tear gas to disperse small groups of opposition supporters, witnesses said.

Police spokesman Pierre Mwanamputu said on Saturday that police were dispersing all gatherings of more than 10 people but that the situation remained mostly calm.

Part of the opposition agreed last month to delay a presidential vote until April 2018, citing a lack of financing and logistical problems registering millions of voters.

The main opposition bloc, however, has rejected the accord and more than 50 people died in anti-government street protests in September.

Kabila, who succeeded his assassinated father in 2001 and went on to win disputed elections in 2006 and 2011, is required by constitutional term limits to step down on December 19.

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