DRC: Catholic Church Condemns Police Brutality, Urges for Peaceful Protests

KINSHASA, JANUARY 23, 2015 (CISA) –The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo has urged people to peacefully oppose President Kabila move to delay presidential elections until a census is held and further condemned police brutality against protesters, reported BBC.

The Catholic Church has backed protests against President Joseph Kabila extending his rule.

Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya Archbishop of Kinshasa called on the public to challenge by all “legal and peaceful means any attempt to change laws that are essential to the electoral process.”

“Stop killing your people,” he told the police in a press statement.

Officials in DRC said at least 12 people had died in three days of unrest that began on Monday January 19 over a proposed law that will prolong President Kabila’s time in power.

The current unrest is the worst in the capital – Kinshasa, since the riots which broke out after President Kabila won a second term in disputed elections in 2011.

The Catholic Church has shut its schools as violent protests continued in Kinshasa for a third day.

On Tuesday January 20, internet connections, text messaging services and popular French radio station RFI were all cut off, apparently on the orders of the government a move that worsened the chaos.

The government admits the election could be delayed, but says the census is vital to ensure polls are free and fair.

President Kabila, who first took power in 2001 following the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila, is constitutionally barred from running for another term in elections due next year.

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