DR Congo Pro-democracy Activists Released

DR Congo pro-democracy activists released

KINSHASA, Nov 3 (Pakistan Point News - APP - 03rd Nov, 2016 ) - Six pro-democracy activists arrested in connection with a protest against Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila were released on Wednesday, but have to report back to police next week, their organisation said. "We were all freed this evening. We have to report back on November 9... the investigations will continue," Carbonne Beni wa Beya, one of five members of the Filimbi movement detained Saturday along with their driver, told AFP.

The six were arrested after a demonstration against any moves to extend Kabila's presidential mandate, which ends on December 20. In all about a dozen were initially detained, but the others were not kept in custody. Their release came a few hours after that of another activist, Arciel Beni, arrested on Monday and accused of espionnage while he was filming the arrest of the six others. The arrests were the latest sign of rising tensions in the vast central African nation, where the opposition does not want Kabila's grip on power to continue beyond the expiry of his term.

On Saturday some 30 activists affiliated to Filimbi, whose name means "whistle" in Swahili, called on Kabila to step down in a protest at the African Union headquarters in Kinshasa. Kabila first took office in 2001, and in 2006 a new constitutional provision limited the presidency to two terms. Last month, DR Congo's main opposition party firmly rejected a deal to keep Kabila in power by postponing this year's presidential vote until April 2018. The idea was agreed by the authorities and fringe opposition groups taking part in a "national dialogue" held to reduce tensions over Kabila's fate.