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Opposition march against Rwandan aggression: no major incidents reported

Kinshasa, March 12th, 2023 (CPA) – The peaceful march of the opposition held on Saturday in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to protest against the Rwandan aggression of which the country is victim in its eastern part, took place without major incident, This was thanks to the security arrangements put in place by the Congolese National Police (PNC), starting from the Ngaba roundabout and passing through the University, Kianza, Super Lemba roundabout, Boulevard Lumumba, Sendwe and Kasa-Vubu avenues, all the way to the Tata Raphael Stadium.

« Applaud for the police officers who are here. If we are like this every day, we will take our country far, » ECiDé national president Martin Fayulu told demonstrators at Tata Raphael Stadium.

« We have come to denounce the aggression against the DRC. We have a strong army, it needs our support. It is not a question of the opposition or the majority. When it comes to the nation, it is patriots, and here you have patriots coming to march. We must also march to show compassion for the victims who are suffering in the east of the country, » explained Francis Kalombo, a member of Ensemble pour la République.

Carrying flags of the DRC and those of the political parties organising the march, namely Martin Fayulu’s Engagement for Citizenship and Development (ECiDé), Moise Katumbi’s Ensemble pour la République and Augustin Matata Ponyo’s Leadership and Governance for Development (LGD), the demonstrators chanted songs to the glory of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and against the aggression of which the DRC is a victim on the part of Rwanda, via the M23 rebellion.

However, the march was almost disrupted on Lumumba Boulevard, at the level of 10th Street Limete, where a group of youths identified as militants of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) tried to block the road to the demonstrators. Thanks to the intervention of the PNC, the worst was avoided and the demonstrators continued their march normally.

When questioned, some citizens not involved in the march appreciated the behaviour of the urban authorities and the demonstrators. « Hats off to the governor of the city of Kinshasa for having authorised the opposition march. This proves that there are positive changes. The world did not collapse and everyone returned home safe and sound, » said Mr Christian Mutombo, a resident of Kalamu commune. If this opposition march had been banned, there would have been incidents and we would have deplored break-ins, barricaded roads, arrests, crackling of weapons or even deaths.  This is a step forward for democracy. We are joining countries that respect freedom of expression, » said Véronique Situ, a civil servant.

the 45th minute, » he regretted.

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