Gunfire in DR Congo over leader’s tenure extension bid

GUNFIRE rang out Wednesday at a student demonstration in Kinshasa in a third day of violence over controversial legislation that would extend President Joseph Kabila’s term in office, with international concern mounting over the crisis

Two shots were heard as dozens of students shouting “Kabila get out!” faced off against a small group of police officers at Kinshasa’s university amid sporadic confrontations.

In another neighbourhood, youths destroyed a police vehicle and police fired teargas in an attempt to disperse the protesters.

Protesters oppose a draft law that would enable Kabila, who has been in power for 14 years, to extend his stay in office beyond 2016 when his second term ends.

The fresh violence came as the European Union called for calm and respect for the country’s election timetable.

Twenty eight people have been killed since Monday in anti-government protests, according to a local human rights organisation. The authorities put the latest death toll at five.

“This morning we’re working all out again because there is a students’ protest” at the university, police spokesman Israel Mutumbo said. “We are in the process of checking across the city because there are little groups (of possible demonstrators) forming.”

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