Felix Tshisekedi, the leader of the political opposition party UPDS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress), is scheduled to return from Geneva to the capital Kinshasa on Saturday, November 17. His supporters are expected to gather at Ndjili International Airport (FIH). Other opposition leaders, including Vital Kamerhe of the UNC (Union for the Congolese Nation) and Martin Fayulu of the Engagement for Citizenship and Development (ECIDE) party, are expected to arrive on the same day. A heightened security presence, as well as significant transportation disruptions around the airport, are likely. Clashes between supporters of the different parties cannot be ruled out.
Opposition leaders are coming back from Geneva, where they had met to nominate a unique candidate for the December 23 elections. Fayulu was nominated on November 11 following negotiations among leaders of the seven opposition parties. However, Tshisekedi and Kamerhe pulled out of the coalition following protests in Kinshasa on November 12 by supporters of both parties. They will therefore run their own candidates.
The campaign period for the elections will officially begin on November 22.
Individuals in the 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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