The “Fight For Change” (LUCHA) civil society group is planning nationwide protests on Monday, September 3. LUCHA is denouncing the use of voting machines in the upcoming December 23 presidential elections. Supporters are being called to hold sit-in protests outside National Electoral Commission (CENI) offices. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near any demonstration sites. Clashes between protesters and police cannot be ruled out.
LUCHA was formed by students in the city of Goma in 2012 to promote dialogue on social issues. The group claims that the voting machines are not transparent and will be used by President Joseph Kabila and his party to alter the results. Kabila has come out in support of his political ally, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who is permanent secretary of the ruling People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD).
Individuals in the DRC, particularly in Kinshasa, should monitor the situation, maintain a high degree of situational awareness, and avoid all rallies and demonstrations due to the risk of violence.
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