• Saturday, Dec 05, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:32 am

Why tensions are spiking in DR Congo

  • Published at 10:47 pm December 21st, 2016
Why tensions are spiking in DR Congo
Sporadic gunfire echoed across Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital on Wednesday, a day after a reported 26 people were killed nationwide in protests demanding President Joseph Kabila step down after his election mandate expired. African and Western leaders fear the political crisis could spiral into broader conflict, risking a repeat of the 1996-2003 wars in the vast, chaotic country that killed millions and drew in the armies of half a dozen neighbouring states. Here’s a look at what’s going on in a country that has never had a peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960:

Why is Congo so tense?

Monday marks the end of Kabila’s five-year term, but the ruling party has suggested it might be well into 2018 before lists of voters and other materials will be ready to hold an election to succeed him. Until then, he remains in charge. Growing anger at the delays led to dozens of deaths during angry protests in September in the capital, Kinshasa. In response, the government banned opposition meetings there.

What’s happening in the capital?

A heavy security presence is in Kinshasa, and internet access is spotty amid reports that the government ordered a shutdown. Last-minute talks between the ruling party and opposition representatives, moderated by Catholic leaders, ended Saturday without any agreement. They are expected to resume this week after Catholic representatives visit the Vatican. Human rights groups have expressed alarm about possible bloodshed and government abuses if Congolese take to the streets again. “The country’s brittle security forces could fracture if Kabila relies on force to stay in power,” Human Rights Watch warned. The United States, the United Nations and others have urged that elections be held soon. The UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, the world body’s largest, is preparing for chaos.

Who is Kabila?

Kabila is the son of former president Laurent Kabila, who led a long rebel march from the country’s militia-riddled eastern region to the capital to overthrow leader Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997 after decades in power. Kabila was assassinated in 2001, and his son took over as president. A Bloomberg investigation has shown how Joseph Kabila and his family have amassed a fortune in Congo’s rich mineral resources and other sectors, suggesting that Kabila might be reluctant to leave what has been a vastly lucrative position in the heart of Africa. The president has denied the charges.
50
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail