Student protests in the DR Congo have left four dead

Presidency says the police officer who “ordered to shoot the peaceful students” will be brought before a military court.
A supporter of Martin Fayulu, the runner up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s(DRC’S) elections, protests in the street on January 21, 2019 in Kinshasa, against the decision of Felix Tshisekedi as president of the DRC. – DR Congo was on January 21, 2019 making plans to install Felix Tshisekedi as its new president this week after a long and bitter election whose outcome was disputed by the runner-up and shunned by many western nations. The ceremony, which was scheduled for January 22, but looks increasingly likely to happen later in the week, will see the 55-year-old sworn in as president, replacing Joseph Kabila who has ruled DR Congo since 2001. (Photo by John WESSELS / AFP)

Three students and a police officer died in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo during weekend clashes at a protest over water and power outages, according to an updated death toll by the presidency on Monday.

The violence was sparked after a large area including Lubumbashi university was left without water and electricity for three days because of damage caused to vital cables and pipes by torrential rains.

The students were also demonstrating over higher fees.

Clashes broke out on Sunday after police used tear gas and warning shots to try to disperse crowds of students returning from the governor’s residence in Upper Katanga.

“The provisional figures established by officials report four deaths including three students and a policeman,” said Vital Kamerhe, chief of staff of new president Felix Tshisekedi, in a statement.

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Tshisekedi was sworn in last Thursday, marking DR Congo’s first peaceful handover of power but only after chaotic and bitterly disputed elections.

Runner-up Martin Fayulu has dismissed the result as a stitch-up between Tshisekedi and outgoing president Joseph Kabila, who ruled DR Congo for 18 years.

The police officer who “ordered to shoot the peaceful students without warning” will be brought before a military court “to face the rigour of the law,” the statement said.

It added that increases to academic fees paid by the university’s 10,000 students had been “suspended”.

Water and electricity supplies have been restored to the university campus, according to students.

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Earlier police reports had said one student was shot dead and a police officer died after being hit by an anti-riot vehicle.

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