World
Congo security forces scatter attempted rally by Kabila rival
Publish Date: Feb 21, 2014
Congo security forces scatter attempted rally by Kabila rival
  • mail
  • img
newvision

KINSHASA - Police in Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday broke up a rally by one of President Joseph Kabila's main political rivals, a move that underscored rising tensions two years ahead of presidential elections.

Opposition leader Vital Kamerhe, once a close ally of Kabila's, said security forces fired bullets at his supporters in the eastern town of Bukavu. The provincial governor denied live rounds were used and said crowds had been hostile.

By 2016, when elections are due, Kabila will have completed two elected terms in office and is barred by the constitution from standing again.

Some opposition groups accuse Kabila, however, of wanting to change the constitution and seek a third term in the mineral-rich country.

"I think President Kabila is scared of allowing a show of force against his presidency to take place," Kamerhe told Reuters by telephone after the incident.

Kamerhe is a former speaker of the National Assembly and minister. He was a key figure in Kabila's 2006 election win, leading campaigning in the east, where he comes from.

But he fell out with Kabila in 2010 after the president allowed Rwandan troops to enter the country to hunt Rwandan Hutu rebels in eastern Congo. He set up a new party called the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) and challenged Kabila in the 2011 elections, coming third.

Kamerhe said authorities had told him to hold his meeting in Bukavu's stadium but it was then booked for a sports match. Frustrated supporters gathered in town where security forces opened fire, he said.

Kamerhe said he had seen one of his bodyguards shot in the head and several other people were injured. There were reports of one woman killed but it was not possible to confirm that.

Marcellin Cishambo, governor of South Kivu province, said police were not armed with lethal weapons and that Kamerhe's supporters instigated the clashes by throwing stones and trying to force their way into the town's main square.

"The police responded with tear gas," he said.

Kabila's position was boosted last year when the army defeated the M23 rebel group in eastern Congo, with the backing of a U.N. Intervention Brigade. But he still must put down a myriad of other rebel groups and faces criticism of failing to tackle corruption and clamping down on human rights.

Kamerhe has twice been prevented from traveling to eastern Congo in recent weeks before finally reaching the town of Goma last week.

Reuters
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Libya magnet for jihadists from Tunisia and beyond
Lawless Libya has become a magnet for radical militants who receive weapons training in jihadist camps before launching deadly attacks in other countries, like last week''s beach massacre in Tunisia....
A French judicial probe has found a series of "tragic" errors caused an Air Algerie plane to crash in the Malian desert last year....
Mass killings may be contagious - US study
Mass killings in the US may be contagious, according to a study that found each deadly tragedy can increase the likelihood that another will soon follow....
Two years after Morsi, Egypt stuck in turmoil
Two years after the army deposed president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt is roiled by brazen Islamic State group attacks in the Sinai Peninsula....
No racial motivation in US church fires
FIRES at six African-American churches in the southern United States do not appear to be linked or racially motivated, officials said...
Hollande warns entering
French President Francois Hollande warned Thursday that Europe would be entering "unknown" territory if Greeks voted against tough austerity conditions attached to a bailout in a make-or-break referendum....
Do you think Ugandan graduates are the worst in the region?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter