World Bulletin / News Desk
UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila to abide by an agreement to leave power, after at least eight people died in protests against his rule.
But violence has swelled in the giant, troubled African nation after the date of the new vote was pushed back to December 2018, prompting fears that Kabila may seek to extend his reign.
"The secretary-general urges all Congolese political actors to remain fully committed to the 31 December 2016 political agreement, which remains the only viable path to the holding of elections, the peaceful transfer of power and the consolidation of stability in the DRC," Guterres' office said in a statement late Sunday.
Eight people were killed on Sunday and dozens arrested as Congolese security forces cracked down on protesters who defied a government ban to demonstrate in Kinshasa and other cities.
Troops fired tear gas into churches and bullets in the air to break up gatherings at Catholic masses, in one case arresting 12 altar boys leading a protest in the capital.
"The secretary-general calls on the government and national security forces to exercise restraint and to uphold the rights of the Congolese people to the freedom of speech and peaceful assembly," Guterres' statement said.
DR Congo, rich with mineral wealth but plagued by violence, has not had a peaceful transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.
Kabila succeeded his assassinated father Laurent Kabila in 2001 and refused to step down at the end of his second and final term in December 2016.
Elections had been due to take place by the end of this year under a church-mediated deal but were further delayed, and the poll is now scheduled for December 23, 2018.
Last month, Hague-based tribunal called for campaign to support ‘victims of situation in Palestine’
Israel closed Kerem Shalom crossing last month over the launch of arson balloons from Gaza
The dead included an unspecified number of Venezuelans and Colombians, whose embassies were notified of the accident outside Quito, they said.
Products include cars, rice, some alcohol and tobacco products, cosmetic products like sun creams
The government of the economically-ravaged country has for many years heavily subsidized petrol and Maduro says this has now led to a voracious black market in oil smuggled to neighbouring countries.
Iraqi premier will meet Turkish President Erdogan during the visit
US to strengthen military 'like never ever before,' Trump says of $716B bill
Some 69 children were among those arrested by Israel last month
The militant was convicted of killing a number of police and army personnel in Nineveh province
If US officials confirm "the offer for the FBI to investigate links in Florida with the assassination plan... I would agree for the FBI to come here," Maduro said at an event with top military leaders late on Saturday.
Move comes after US re-imposed first round of economic sanctions on Iran, targeting country’s banking sector
Move comes few days after Pakistan, Russia signed agreement for military officers’ training
More than 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since March
Clothing retailer’s advertising campaign on YouTube receives more than 1 million hits
Officer Mike Moore tells group of African Americans 'you don’t belong in my city'