News Worms
News Worms


Congo suspends Internet, SMS services

Congo suspends Internet, SMS services

"The Secretary-General calls on the Government and national security forces to exercise restraint and to uphold the rights of the Congolese people to the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly", said the statement.

An AFP reporter at a demonstration in the central city of Kananga saw a man shot in the chest by soldiers who opened fire on worshippers.

"Two young people were killed in the parish of Saint-Alphonse de Matete", in the east of the country, while another died in the Masina area, police spokesman Colonel Pierrot-Rombaut Mwanamputu said in a televised statement.

At the Notre Dame du Congo cathedral in Kinshasa's Lingwala district, where opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was attending mass, dozens of police and soldiers blocked the path of more than 100 opposition supporters as they prepared to march.

Internet was restored in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday after the government cut services for three days on the eve of protests against the president, AFP reporters said. The DRC authorities also say a policeman was killed when a police station came under "attack".

Congo's election commission has set a new date for presidential and legislative elections, which is to be held on December 23, 2018, though the opposition has said it would only agree to delay the vote until June 2018.

The protesters were seeking a promise from Kabila that he will not seek to further extend his time in power in the mostly Catholic former Belgian colony.

One parishioner who identified herself as Chantal said: "People fell, first-aiders are resuscitating old ladies who have fallen" - but added the priest carried on saying mass.

Authorities on Saturday ordered all internet and text messaging services cut until further notice.

He urged all Congolese political actors to remain committed to the December 2016 political agreement paving way for elections possibly before the end of this year.

The police had banned the demonstrations and said that all gatherings of more than five people would be dispersed to ensure public order.

"The major deployment of police, army and military gear aims at discouraging people who are tempted to go out and demonstrate", said Congolese analyst Jacques Wondo.

"We (the opposition groups) have to get together and set in place a new strategy, in unity", he told AFP. "We have to turn out in droves in the face of these mercenaries", he said, referring to the security forces.

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