tension in Kinshasa after the death of a student killed by a police officer

Clashes between police officers and students near the University of Kinshasa, DRC, July 26, 2021.

© RFI/Sonia Rolley
Clashes between police officers and students near the University of Kinshasa, DRC, July 26, 2021.

The students have been trying to demonstrate since Monday morning after the murder on Friday of one of their comrades by a police officer. Two of the officers involved were arrested. The third, the shooter, is on the run. But that was not enough to calm the anger of the students. There are clashes around the University of Kinshasa.

With our special correspondent in Kinshasa, Sonia Rolley

This Monday morning, clashes first broke out between the kulunas, thugs from working-class neighborhoods, and students who tried to leave the university grounds. The kulunas charged, threw stones, dismantled the makeshift barricades erected by the students and brought them back to the side of the police, which remained behind.

For the students, it is clear that the kulunas and the police were working together. The head of police operations present on the spot, he denied, ensuring to stay behind the kulunas so as not to worsen the situation. After denunciations on social networks and by the media, the kulunas disappeared and the police found themselves on the front line.

There was a brief moment of lull when the police agreed to release arrested students. Until the police faced a flood of stones. The police protect themselves with shields, charge by throwing tear gas and retreat regularly. This attitude is unbearable for the students. “ They killed one of us, we should have the right to demonstrate, we prevent as in Kabila’s time », Laments one of them. RFI was able to see that there were light injuries on both sides.

A reinforcement truck arrived. The police were deployed, without violence, freeing the axes. Traffic was able to resume at 2:30 p.m. local time. Students who had since been locked in classrooms around the university have been able to join their parents.

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