Military arrests opposition party leader in DRC

Eyewitnesses say DRC military arrests opposition leader ahead of general strike

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A general strike was announced by opposition leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo in protest of President Joseph Kabila.

A famous opposition leader in Democratic Republic of Congo was arrested by military officers at his party’s headquarters on Sunday in the capital city Kinshasa, according to witnesses.

The opposition leader of the Engagement for Citizenship and Development party (Ecide) Martin Fayulu, was arrested just two days before a general strike called by opponents of President Joseph Kabila was to start.

The Ecide party is among the organisers of the February 16 nationwide strike.  

Fayulu was taken to an unknown location by a group of men in military and civilian clothing, according to eyewitnesses and party members who spoke to AFP.

The team was led by an officer from the Democratic Republic of Congo's DEMIAP military intelligence agency, which monitors and investigates unpatriotic acts, they said.

Kabila became president of Democratic Republic of Congo in 2001 after his father was assassinated. He won the disputed elections in 2006 and 2011.

Kabila refused to comment on his future and called for negotiations to resolve the challenges in organising an election, but the opposition has rejected negotiations as a delaying tactic and says protests are needed to press Kabila to hold a presidential election this year. 

Critics have accused him of trying to avoid constitutional term limits and remain in power by delaying a presidential election planned for November 2015, dozens of people have lost their lives over the issue.