By Craig Stevens on behalf of Moise Katumbi, Special for USDR
The day after what should’ve been the first peaceful transition of power in more than 50 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo has turned deadly. In solidarity with the Congolese people and in respect for their Constitution, I will not refer to Joseph Kabila as president.
A DEADLY DAY
According to Reuters, the United Nations believes that 20 civilians have been killed by Joseph Kabila’s security forces trying to quash citizen protests.
“On the issue of deaths, it looks bad,” Jose Maria Aranaz told Reuters by telephone. “We are reviewing allegations of up to 20 civilians killed, but it (the information) is pretty solid.”
We are hearing reports from the ground that thousands of people are not following the direction of Mr. Kabila, whose lawful tenure as president has ended, and are taking to the streets in peaceful protest against the Kabila regime.
I have two videos from Kinshasa taken by heroes of freedom, armed only with mobile phones. As you know, Joseph Kabila ordered that all social media be shut down in the DRC on Sunday, so we have uploaded the videos here and here.
FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS WEIGH IN
The French have come out with a statement condemning the violence and calls on the EU to re-examine its relationship with the DRC; the Belgium government has said that its relations with the DRC “will be re-examined, with the greatest circumspection”; and Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce said “By remaining in power, President Kabila is violating the DRC’s constitution and the will of the Congolese people.”
The head of the United Nations unit in the DRC also expressed his “grave concern”.
“I am gravely concerned by the arrests of those who seek to express their political views. I urge the national authorities to strictly adhere to their international human rights obligations, to create a climate of political tolerance and respect at this important juncture in the DRC’s history…”
And finally, Etienne Tshisekedi today called on the Congolese people to no longer recognize Joseph Kabila as president on the grounds of high treason. A video of his statement can be found here.
SOURCE Craig Stevens on behalf of Moise Katumbi