DR Congo: Protests Inspired by Catholic Laity Continue also in the Provinces

DR Congo: Protests Inspired by Catholic Laity Continue also in the Provinces

The call for the march of the Lay Coordinating Committee has been variously followed in the provinces of the DRC. In Equator, protesters have been dispersed. One death was recorded according to independent sources and the Catholic Church. In North Kivu, particularly in the cities of Beni and Goma, the situation remained relatively calm. In the cities of Mbuji-Mayi (Kasaï-Oriental), the parishes were sealed off by the police and soldiers.

One dead and four wounded among protesters, say independent sources and the Catholic Church. That is the situation following the repression of the peaceful march of Catholic Christians in Mbandaka, by the soldiers of the 13th region.

Count  disputed by official sources that speak of 7 wounded including 3 policemen, 1 soldier and 3 civilians.

Scuffles took place between the police and the protesters in Mbandaka. Police officers reinforced by FARDC soldiers were deployed around various Catholic parishes. This did not prevent the faithful from going to church for Sunday prayers.

In the city center, at the exit of the services, the protesters of the Catholic chaplaincy and those of Saint-Eugène parish met with police who fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse them.

It is in Mbandaka III where the march of the Catholic Christians attracted large crowds. Protesters from St. Paul’s Parish and those from Uganda’s Martyrs Parish came together at the junction at Ipeko Avenue.

When the police fired live ammunition to disperse them, the demonstrators picked up the bushings.

Thomas Bayolo, president of the Catholic Laity Committee of Saint Paul parish of Mbandaka III, said he saw police officers who were guarding the provincial headquartes shoot on Revolution Avenue.

A young man who was returning home after the march was shot at close range by a police officer who fled after his crime.

Angry neighborhood youth ransacked the Mbandaka III Police Training Center and set fire to the homes of a police chief and murderous policeman.

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