Congo opposition party says activist killed in violence at election rally

Congolese police officers secure the streets during a campaign rally of presidential candidate Moise Katumbi in Kitutu village within Mwenga territory of South Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo November 24, 2023. REUTERS/Arlette Bashizi/File Photo
Congolese police officers

The Congo opposition party says activists were killed in violence at an election rally. Well, whoever said parenting is not easy, I must conquer it with him. It requires a lot to raise morale. As a result of stones being thrown at an opposition campaign gathering in the city of Kindu, which is located in the east-central region of the country, a young Congolese activist was killed on Tuesday, according to the party of presidential candidate Moise Katumbi.

At a campaign event, Katumbi and two other opposition candidates who supported him for the election on December 20 attended. The Together for the Republic party accused the local authorities of attempting to suppress the opposition and of permitting anonymous assailants to throw stones during the event.

In a statement, the party claimed that “this violence… caused the tragic death of Mr. Dido Kakisingi.” According to the party, Kakisingi, a lawyer and father of six children, was the leader of a political youth league in the province of Maniema that supports Katumbi.

It is both arbitrary and self-destructive. According to Seth Kikuni, one of the opposition candidates supporting Katumbi, “They did not even send the police to secure us before the election.”

There was a request for a response from the police, but they did not answer. I could not get in touch with the local governor over the phone.

Africa’s second-largest country, which is also fighting to handle many armed groups in its mineral-rich east, is experiencing high tension in the run-up to presidential, legislative, and regional elections. These elections are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.

All opposition candidates have voiced concerns about possible electoral fraud, even though the CENI election commission has assured them that the election will be conducted fairly and efficiently. The United States of America has expressed its worry about the potential for violence and threats to the ability to peacefully assemble.

Stephane Kamundala, a civil society leader in Maniema, stated there was a genuine possibility of more bloodshed and accused the various political groups of intentionally exacerbating divides throughout the country.

“There is a fear of clashes between these groups of young people, as currently each camp is recruiting them for its electoral interests,” he told Reuters.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, is competing for a second term and is facing competition from around twenty-dozen other candidates. Among them are businesspeople Katumbi and Martin Fayulu, who finished in second place in the contentious election that took place in 2018, as well as Denis Mukwege, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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