Demonstrations associated to the court hearing of Vital Kamerhe, the currently imprisoned leader of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) party, which were originally scheduled to be held on Monday, August 24, have been rescheduled to take place on Friday, August 28. Supporters of the UNC will gather in urban centers across the country. Kamerhe has reportedly been admitted to hospital and therefore his hearing taking place at the Court of Appeal in Kinshasa has been moved also. Demonstrators in Kinshasa will likely gather in the vicinity of the court. Additional protests elsewhere are possible, though exact details of locations and timings of the protests are unknown.
A heightened security presence and localized disruption in the vicinity of the court and other protest sites should be anticipated. Counter-demonstrations are also possible. Clashes between protest groups, and demonstrators and security forces are also possible.
The high-profile trial over $48 million missing from the president's flagship development program has been politically charged since Kamerhe was abruptly dismissed from his role as Tshisekedi's chief of staff and arrested on April 8. Although the corruption allegations appear to be well-founded, opposition groups have accused former president Joseph Kabila of using the case to manipulate the government and assert his influence over Tshisekedi.
Those in the DRC are advised to avoid all protests as a precaution, monitor the situation, allow ample travel time, and obey instructions issued by local authorities
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