DR Congo: Several deaths in anti-Kabila protests

At least six people have been killed in widespread protests in the Democratic Republic of Congo, United Nations sources say.

Protesters are demanding that President Joseph Kabila – whose expected term of office expired more than a year ago – should step down.

Police have used tear gas to disperse protesters in Kinshasa, where UN peacekeepers have been deployed.

Similar demonstrations three weeks ago led to a number of deaths.

A spokesman for the UN mission to the country said about 50 people were injured in Sunday’s clashes and that dozens had been arrested.

Jean-Baptise Sondji, a former minister, told AFP he had witnessed the death of a 16-year-old girl outside a church in the Kitambo area of the capital.

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“An armoured car passed in front of the church. They began firing live bullets, I protected myself… a girl who was at the left side door of the church was hit,” he said.

The widespread marches had been called for by the country’s Catholic Church, which appealed for a large but peaceful demonstration.

The Congolese authorities, however, banned the marches and no formal permission was given. On Saturday evening, internet access in the capital Kinshasa was cut.

Police warned that they would not tolerate “any attempt to disturb public order.”

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