On Thursday, July 9, protests in several cities against the proposed appointment of a new head of the electoral commission, Ronsard Malaonda, were dispersed with teargas and warning shots. Protests were reported in Kinshasa, Butembo, and Lubumbashi, as well as in other cities throughout the DRC. Police reportedly blocked major thoroughfares in the cities in order to limit the movement of the demonstrators. Similar protests were held on Wednesday, July 8. The protests took place despite a ban in place due to the health measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Further protests against Malaonda are expected in the coming days.
Previous protests over the appointment of Ronsard Malaonda as head of CENI were witnessed in Kinshasa on July 4. During these demonstrations, security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters and a number of participants were detained.
Those in the DRC are advised to monitor developments, anticipate overland disruption in the vicinity of demonstrations, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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