The Catholic bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have planned another protest the third in less than two months, to demand elections and to force President Joseph Kabila to leave office after 17years in power.
The Lay Coordination Committee (CLC) of the Catholic church has issued notices to Congolese residents in the country or abroad, from all religious denominations, political or professional associations to a new protest scheduled for February 25.
The CLC said, “We will never go in violence. We will never accept that Congolese are attacking other Congolese people! Their violence and bullets will not triumph over our love for the Congo and the Congolese.”
They said that the people were saying “no to the dictatorship” the CLC said in a statement. “We are going to demand the implementation of the San Silvestre.” The statement said in reference to the agreement reached on December 31, 2016 for the call for general elections and for Kabila not to contest in the elections.
Fifteen people were killed in the two protests, according to UN and Church figures.
The authorities say two people were killed. The Democratic Republic of Congo’s National Human Rights Commission lists seven dead in the New Year’s Eve protest, and four on January 21.
“Let us be ready to face the worst in order to triumph in the best,” the CLC said.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.