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United Nations urges restraint in Congo after 17 die in protests

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 14:03

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon called for restraint in the Democratic Republic of Congo after clashes between protesters and the police left at least 17 people dead.

[NAIROBI] United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon called for restraint in the Democratic Republic of Congo after clashes between protesters and the police left at least 17 people dead.

Thousands of people held a demonstration in the capital, Kinshasa, on Monday calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down.

Africa's biggest copper producer has never had a peaceful transfer of leadership and Kabila, in power since 2001 and whose mandate ends in December, could remain in office for longer as the electoral commission seeks a postponement of elections originally scheduled for November.

As many as 50 people died in Monday's violence, Agence France-Presse reported, citing an opposition statement.

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The violence continued on Tuesday, with armed men setting fire to the headquarters of the opposition Forces for Renovation for Union and Solidarity, Olivier Kamitatu, a leader of the G7 opposition group, said on his Twitter account.

"The secretary-general urges all concerned political leaders and their supporters to refrain from any further violence that could exacerbate the situation," Mr Ban's office said in an e-mailed statement.

"He also calls on all political leaders to address their differences peacefully and through dialogue."

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