Petrol stations were closed in several cities in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, August 6, due to a strike by oil companies in Haut-Katanga province over fuel prices. No fuel was being served from petrol stations in the provinces major cities of Lubumbashi, Likasi, and Kasumbalesa on Thursday, as well as in Kolwezi in neighboring Lualaba province. Fuel prices in the region have been set by the government at 1,390 Congolese Francs (0.71 USD), as opposed to 1,995 Congolese Francs (1.01 USD) in Kinshasa. Local oil providers argue that the low price is severely harming their businesses. The strike has been organized through members of the Federation of Congolese Enterprises (FEC). It is not clear how long the strike has been set for; however, representatives of the oil companies were due to meet on Thursday to discuss the way forward.
Fuel shortages may continue in Haut-Katanga and other southeastern areas over the coming days and demonstrations associated with the strike are possible.
Individuals in southeastern DRC are advised to monitor the situation, fill up vehicles whenever fuel is available, ensure sufficient fuel reserves before all long journeys, and expect longer waiting times at gas stations.
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