A nationwide demonstration is scheduled to take place on Friday, July 17, throughout urban centers of DRC. The demonstrations are being held over Ronsard Malonda's nomination as head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Previous related protests resulted in clashes between security forces and protesters. On July 17, in Kinshasa participants of the protest are scheduled to gather at Place Nelson Mandela, despite the ban on gatherings due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Clashes between rival demonstrators cannot be ruled out. Associated business and transportation disruptions and a heightened security presence are to be anticipated near all demonstration sites.
Multiple protests have been staged by the Lamuka opposition in Kinshasa and numerous provincial towns and cities since Malaonda was endorsed by the government as the new head of the CENI on July 2. Many of these demonstrations have been aggressively dispersed by security forces citing the current ban on public gatherings, with fatalities reported at past demonstrations in Kinshasa.
Those in the DRC are advised to monitor developments, anticipate disruptions in the vicinity of demonstrations, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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