Gunfire Erupts in Kinshasa as Kabila’s Term Expires
Gunfire was heard in several parts of Kinshasa early Tuesday as Congo’s long-serving President Joseph Kabila appeared set to stay on despite the expiry of his mandate. The state television overnight announced a new government between Kabila’s administration and the opposition group. The new cabinet will be led by Sami Badibanga, a defector from the party of the mainstream opposition party led by 84-year-old Etienne Tshisekedi.
Shots were heard mostly in the norther quarters where demonstrators demanded President Kabila to step aside. He has been in power since 2001. His second term expires Tuesday the 20th December 2016. The constitutional court has ruled that Kabila can stay on until the election takes place.
Scores of protestors have been arrested in Kinshasa the capital and the eastern cities of Goma and Bukavu. Authorities in DRC had ordered social media sites including Facebook and WhatsApp be temporarily blocked, as from 2259 GMT on Sunday prior to the expiry of Kabila’s term in power an order that was issued by Congo’s Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ARPTC).