DR Congo opposition supporters ‘killed by government’s barbarity’

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Man stands guard before six coffins containing bodies of killed opposition supporters

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the bodies of six opposition supporters killed on 19 and 20 September during demonstrations against the delay in the presidential election have been displayed in coffins at the headquarters of the main opposition party, UDPS, to allow fellow party members to pay their respects, the Jeune Afrique newspaper reports.

The bodies were brought from a morgue in Kinshasa, the capital, and about 2,000 people gathered for the funerals, Jeune Afrique says.

President Joseph Kabila was due to step down next month at the end of his second and last term, but a deal brokered by his government with one faction of the opposition proposed to keep him as head of state until April 2018 when the presidential election will be organised.

The main opposition parties, including Etienne Tshisekedi’s UDPS, have rejected the deal and vowed to maintain pressure on Mr Kabila to step down.

The bodies of the UDPS supporters are expected to be buried today.

Jean-Marc Kabund, UDPS general secretary, told AFP:

Our fighters were killed by Kabila’s barbarity.”

A report into the violence in September commissioned by the interior ministry blamed the deaths on the opposition.

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