Countdown to Congo’s election: A tale of youth power and regime decline
President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to vacate office has sparked protest in the DRC, especially by the youth, which was brutally repressed. Kambale Musavuli analyses the state of the Congolese nation in the run-up to what should be an election – and highlights the role of an American firm in the maintenance of a repressive regime.
On 19 September 2016, widespread protests occurred across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Congolese population sent a clear message to President Joseph Kabila that he had only 90 days left to vacate the presidency because the last of his two presidential terms expires on 19 December 2016.
The Congolese security forces violently and brutally repressed the demonstrators. According to the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations, “At least 53 people, including four police officers and 49 civilians, were killed during clashes in Kinshasa, by gunshot, burns and machete.” Another 127 civilians were injured, allegedly at the hands of Congolese security forces.