Police dispersed protesters with tear gas during a political demonstration in Lubumbashi (Haut-Katanga province) on Saturday, October 13. The rally was initially approved by the local government, though the mayor revoked the authorization on Friday, October 12, for "security reasons." Some protesters arrived regardless at Cité des Jeunes, where the rally was to be held, and were met with a large deployment of security forces. Some arrests and minor clashes, wounding several protesters, were reported.
A similar protest is planned for cities nationwide on October 26. Localized traffic disruptions are possible and clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Opposition leaders planned a demonstration in Lubumbashi to denounce issues related to the electoral process and the use of voting machines due to the alleged risk of fraud. A similar protest took place peacefully in Kinshasa on September 29, though police have regularly broken up or disallowed political events in Lubumbashi. DRC is scheduled to hold presidential elections on December 23.
Individuals in DRC are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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