Amnesty International has asked authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to show restraint in their handling of protests to ensure that they do not inflame tensions in the country.
The rights body is also calling for thorough, prompt, impartial and transparent investigations into killings and violence that took place at opposition rallies in Kinshasa on Monday.
The Congolese government says 17 people, including three police officers, were killed at these rallies but the opposition puts the death toll at more than 50.
Amnesty International’s Country Campaigner for the DRC Christian Rumu warns that confronting people exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly with excessive force fans the flames of unrest.
The opposition parties are up in arms demanding that elections be held soon to replace President Joseph Kabila whose second term expires on December 19th.
However the electoral commission has failed to call the election, citing lack of funds and insufficient time to update the voting register.
Yesterday was the constitutional deadline for the Independent National Electoral Commission to announce the date for presidential elections.
Story By Ali Mivule