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Kinshasa: demonstrators on the streets

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MISNA - June 30, 2005 1:19 PM

Tension is escalating in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the police and soldiers are intervening to disperse the young demonstrators that took the streets this morning in protest against the extension of the transition and postponement of elections. MISNA sources on the scene refer that in various areas of the city, particularly in the neighbourhood of Limete, the agents are using tear gas to disperse the thousands of youths headed toward the Parliament building, where a final rally is due to be held. In some zones the protesters are also building small barricades and burning tyres to impede the arrival of the police. I saw with my own eyes a security jeep taking away three girls and a boy that were attempting to place stones on a street to block transit, stated a MISNA source in Kinshasa. The highest tension is in the neighbourhood of Limete (entirely surrounded by police), where Etienne Tshisekedi lives, president of the main Congolese opposition UDPS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress). Today's demonstration was in fact called by the UDPS - main political force of the nation but excluded from the transition government, instated following the 2003 peace accords and mainly including protagonists of the conflict - which has already been defined illegal by the governor of the capital in an address aired by some local radios. According to the Congolese press, a young demonstrator was killed and some wounded in the unrest, though there are still no confirmations.


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