Maï-Maï militiamen attacked and attempted to destroy an Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) warehouse in Beni (North Kivu province) in the early morning hours (local time) of Sunday, December 16. Security forces reportedly repelled the attackers, who inflicted no casualties or material damages. Additional Maï-Maï militia attacks targeting CENI installations are possible in Beni and elsewhere in North Kivu province in the coming days ahead of general elections slated for December 23.
Campaigning for the upcoming vote officially ends on Friday, December 21. Political rallies by various parties are expected to take place on December 21, particularly in the capital Kinshasa. Clashes between rival political supporters are possible around all election-related events in the coming days.
Several clashes have erupted during political events held ahead of the December 23 elections, notably in Kalemie, Lubumbashi, Tshikapa, Kindu, and Mbuji-Mayi. At least five people died on December 11-12 during campaign events in Lubumbashi and Kalemie. At least one person was killed in clashes in Mbuji-Mayi on December 13.
The DRC will hold presidential and legislative elections on December 23. President Kabila, whose term ended in 2016 but has remained in power due to election delays, announced he will not seek reelection in 2018 and has endorsed Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.
Individuals in the DRC are advised to monitor the political situation, avoid all protests and political demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing sensitive political topics in public.
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