Protest Held in DR Congo Ahead of Macron’s Visit

Anti-Macron Protest Held in DR Congo Ahead of Visit (News Central TV)
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a reception for France’s prefects at the Elysee presidential Palace in Paris, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. ( Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

A protest by civil society organisations is being held in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s planned visit later this week.

The demonstrators gathered outside the French embassy to accuse France of cooperating with the neighboring country of Rwanda, which the US and UN have linked to helping the M23 rebel group located in the country’s eastern region. Rwanda has repeatedly denied supporting the rebels.

President Macron visit is meant to “deepen the Franco-Congolese relationship in the fields of education, health, research, culture and defence,” according to a statement from his office.

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Macron will visit Gabon, the DRC, Republic of Congo, and Angola, March 1-5, to strengthen bilateral links.

Heightened security deployments are likely in affected capitals March 1-5, especially in Libreville, the Gabonese capital, where a large number of officials are expected to attend the One Forest Summit.

Associated localised business and transport disruptions are likely in the cities Macron will visit, including at the relevant airports. Anti-French protests are possible; security personnel will likely move quickly and forcefully to disperse any protests that may occur.

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