Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Congolese ‘threaten to burn down’ embassy in Pretoria

Democratic Republic of the Congo expatriates in Gauteng are set to have a “prayer meeting” on Friday, days ahead of a planned march on the country’s embassy in Pretoria. Their action is set to coincide with protests by opposition supporters in the DRC on Tuesday, the first day after President Joseph Kabila’s term of office expires according to the country’s constitution. There are fears that Kabila would attempt to change the country’s constitution to allow himself a third term. Elections were supposed to take place this year, but the country’s electoral commission has proposed an 18-month delay of the election date so that a census and voter registration could be completed. Protesters had threatened to occupy and burn down the embassy. The South African police was tasked to protect the building and staff. Meanwhile Congolese citizens who have the means have already started leaving the country for an extended Christmas break over fears that next week’s planned protests would lead to a widespread outbreak of violence.


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