00:44 GMT +320 January 2018
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    Police of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

    Watchdog: Peaceful Protesters Killed in Congo Over Calls for President to Resign

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    Security forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) killed two peaceful protesters, calling for President Joseph Kabila Kabange to step down, in the country’s capital of Kinshasa, a human rights watchdog said.

    "Two men shot dead outside St Alphonse church in Kinshasa’s Matete commune as security forces disperse peaceful protesters calling for Pres Kabila to step down. Heavy security force deployment and roadblocks across capital; SMS, internet access shut down," Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, media put the number of people, killed in the protests, at eight.

    Kabila has been president of the DR Congo after taking office following the assassination of his father President Laurent-Desire Kabila, in 2001. In 2006, the United Nations brokered democratic election in the country, as a result of which Kabila was elected as president for a five-year term.

    In December 2011, Kabila was re-elected. His second term expired in 2016. According to the country's legislation, Kabila is not allowed to stay in office for his third term. However, the country’s election commission has not yet called elections to determine Kabila’s successor.

    Opposition claims that the authorities had intentionally delayed the presidential election for Kabila to remain in power.

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    Tags:
    crisis, force, election, casualties, protests, Human Rights Watch, Joseph Kabila, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
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