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At least five killed in anti-Kabila demonstration in DR Congo

KINSHASA (Xinhua) -- At least five people were killed and several others wounded on Sunday in Kinshasa during an anti-Kabila demonstration convened by the Catholic Church across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), according to the UN mission in the west African country.

At least 69 people were arrested across the country, according to the UN Stabilization Mission in DR Congo (MONUSCO).

In a church in Kinshasa, an 18-year-old girl who was one of the faithful of the Catholic Church was shot dead during this demonstration. 

The Red Cross sources interviewed by Xinhua in Kinshasa reported eight seriously wounded people, six of whom were shot.

The DR Congo is going through an unprecedented political crisis since the expiry of the term of its current president Joseph Kabila.

This is the second demonstration in less than two months convened by the leaders of the Catholic Church of the DR Congo to demand the application of the political agreement signed last year under the auspices of the Bishops.

At least six people were killed in the demonstration in late December, which was also convened by members of the same Catholic church.

The National Independent Electoral Commission issued at the beginning of the year an electoral calendar that sets the presidential elections in December 2018. But this schedule has already been rejected by opponents of the Kabila regime who also demand a short transition without its presence at the head of the country.



Zambia relocates DRC refugees from overcrowded transit center

LUSAKA  Zambia (Xinhua) -- Zambia has the started relocation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) refugees kept at a temporary transit center, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Sunday.

The Zambian government, supported by the UNHCR, has started moving the refugees from the congested Kenani Transit Center to a newly opened permanent site, said UNHCR spokesperson Kelvin Shimoh.

The new site, Mantapala Refugee Settlement, is located 40 kilometers from the transit center in the same district of Nchelenge in Luapula Province.

The first convoy of buses to the new settlement carrying 150 refugees left on Saturday, he said in a statement.

“Several relocation convoys will follow in the coming days, depending on weather conditions and ongoing preparations on the ground in Mantapala in terms of health facilities, shelter, water supply and other services,” he said.

The transit center was opened in August last year following an influx of Congolese refugees fleeing conflict in Haute Katanga’s Poweto area and Moba in Tanganyika Province.

But the UNHCR spokesperson said the transit center has reached its maximum, currently hosting over 14,000 refugees, with an average of 100 new arrivals on a daily basis.

The new settlement has the capacity to host up to 20,000 refugees, he said.

Shimoh further said there was an urgent need to fund the provision of necessary services at the refugee camp, whose estimated budget stands at about 32 million U.S. dollars.



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