News / Africa

East Congo Protesters Arrested

A young man suspected of being a militant supporter of opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi reacts in fear as police threaten to kill him, as he lies on the floor of a police truck after being arrested near opposition party headquarters in the Limete d
A young man suspected of being a militant supporter of opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi reacts in fear as police threaten to kill him, as he lies on the floor of a police truck after being arrested near opposition party headquarters in the Limete d
Heather Murdock

Congolese authorities arrested protesters in the eastern city of Goma Tuesday after breaking up a demonstration against the re-election of President Joseph Kabila. Local authorities say they don't want opposition rallies in town for security reasons.

It appears to be business as usual Tuesday in most of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. The shops are open and markets are packed.

But in one of the main squares of this provincial capital, dozens of riot police and soldiers stood guard hours after they broke up a planned demonstration, before it really began.  Organizers say between 50 and 100 people had gathered to get their signs ready and then they were surrounded.

Alidor Mbuyamba heads the regional youth league for the party of opposition leader and second-place finisher Etienne Tshisekedi. He says his party and other opposition parties support Tshisekedi’s claim to victory, and that the November 28 election was a fraud.

Mbuyamba says as demonstrators got ready for the protest this morning, police ordered them to leave, and when they refused to go, scattered the crowd with tear gas and intimidation tactics.

The mayor of Goma, Jean Busanga, says tear gas was not used to disperse the crowd, which was gathered illegally.

He says organizers submitted their authorization claim too late, and that he appeared on state radio on Sunday warning people not to attend the demonstration. The mayor says two people were arrested, but does not give names.

Opposition officials count five arrests. They say they include the head of the local chapter of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, the party of Tshisekedi, and the local head of the Union for the Nation of Congo, the party of Vital Kamerhe, who came in third in the presidential race with 7.7 percent of the vote.  

The mayor says the arrests were a simple security measure, to prevent looting and rioting in the streets.

The mayor says peaceful protests are allowed in Goma, but he doesn’t want people demonstrating against the election.

Human Rights Watch says that in the days leading up to the vote, at least 18 people were killed and 100 were injured in demonstrations in the capital, Kinshasa - mostly by government troops. And while tempers may be high in this war-torn province, many people, like the mayor, say they can't take any more violence.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More