The opposition called for a demonstration on December 27, which the government promptly banned. Martin Fayulu, along with four other candidates, had called for a march to demand the annulment of the general elections held last week. Following tensions earlier in the day, the situation appears to be calming down.
The atmosphere escalated abruptly this morning as around a hundred activists gathered outside the headquarters of the party Ecide (Engagement for Citizenship and Development) to commence their demonstration. “We were supposed to start at noon,” confirmed Martin Fayulu. Just before 11 a.m., clashes broke out between the predominantly young activists and the police, involving stone-throwing against stun grenades and tear gas. The party’s headquarters found itself surrounded by law enforcement, resulting in a few arrests.
For about an hour, activists and police faced off. Stones were hurled above the entrance of the building before an Ecide representative emerged, carrying a white cloth. He engaged in discussions with the police, and suddenly the situation de-escalated: the young protesters exited the party headquarters, the police retreated, and the injured were evacuated.
Since then, part of the security forces has been withdrawn. The head of Kinshasa’s police emphasized that the demonstration was prohibited, blaming the organizers, particularly for allegedly including minors among the protesters at the headquarters. Martin Fayulu, the only candidate present at the scene who had called for the gathering, denounced the use of violence to prevent any manifestation.