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More than 20 Dead in Clashes in the DRC

Residents chant slogans as they light a fire barricade in their neighbourhood in the streets of Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, Dec. 20, 2016.

At least 21 people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo in violence following protests against long-time president Joseph Kabila refusing to step down, police said Wednesday.

Rights group Human Rights Watch put the death toll at 26 and indicated it may grow.

Additionally, security forces have arrested 275 people in the past few days, including opposition leaders, rights campaigners, and journalists.

President Joseph Kabila’s second elected mandate expired at midnight Monday, but he remains in office with no plans for elections in progress.

The country’s top opposition leader has called for a campaign of “peaceful resistance.”

A group of Roman Catholic bishops sponsoring talks between the opposition and the ruling party have called for a deal by Sunday on the president's tenure.

Pope Francis also called for peace in the Congo from Rome, asking those in power to "listen to the voice of their conscience".