Congolese Civil Society Responds to Ban on Protests

On April 11, 2017, Congolese civil society organization La Voix Des Sans Voix Pour Les Droits De L’Homme (VSV) issued a statement condemning the government’s decision to ban public protests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The ban was intended to prevent the opposition political party Union for Democracy and Social Progress from coordinating mass public demonstrations on April 10, 2017, against President Joseph Kabila who refused to leave office when his presidential term ended in 2016. VSV criticized the ban which contradicted agreements mediated by Catholic leaders under the “New Year’s Eve Political Agreement” between Kabila and members of the opposition. VSV also urged Kabila to recognize that his constitutional authority to remain in power has expired and comply with former agreements to schedule elections before December 2017.