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Anti-Kabila protests erupt in Congo opposition stronghold

The protesters demanded President Joseph Kabila resignation, burned tires and police fired tear gas to disperse them. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Washington, United States Sep 17, 2016, 03.31 AM (IST)
Police had to resort to firing tear gas shells to quell protesters in the streets of the opposition stronghold of Lubumbashi on Friday as agitatotrs demanded Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila's resignation. 

The demonstrations were led by exiled leader Etienne Tshisekedi of Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the country's main opposition party, UN-backed Radio Okapi reported. 

It's pertinent to mention that elections were scheduled for November in Congo but the electoral commission said the vote registry will not be complete till July 2017.

The President's opponents have accused him of stalling the vote, but his supporters deny the charges. 

Kabila is being pressured by Western powers to not remain in power beyond when his mandate runs out on December 19, international news agency Reuters has observed. 

The constitution limits him to two elected terms, but the country's highest court ruled he can remain in power until the election takes place even if that falls beyond the end of his mandate in December.

Analysts fear that if that happens it may push Congo to another civil war. The last civil war took place between 1996-2003, which killed millions of people. 

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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