Protests are expected to be held in Kinshasa, as well as in other urban centers, on Friday, July 24. The demonstrators are to gather in protest against the imprisonment of Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) leader Vital Kamerhe. An appeal against Kamerhe's corruption charges is to be held on Friday at the court of appeals in the Gombe area of Kinshasa. Protesters in Bukavu (South Kivu Province) are to march to the Funu Stadium, where a sit-in will be held. The protests come following the lifting of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in the DRC on Tuesday, July 21, which limited public gatherings, including protests.
Clashes between security forces and protesters are possible. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions are also likely in the vicinity of the demonstrations.
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 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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