DR Congo protesters clash with police in London

6th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Hundreds of demonstrators opposing DR Congo President Joseph Kabila clashed with British police as they protested outside the residence of Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday.

An estimated 300 protesters chanting slogans and brandishing signs reading "Kabila Out" were pushed back by at least 50 police, some wearing riot gear, an AFP reporter at the scene in front of Downing Street said.

A woman and another protester, who were apparently injured in the clashes, lay on the ground and were being attended to by police medics.

The protesters, who were mainly from the DR Congo diaspora living in Britain, were demonstrating ahead of the expected announcement Tuesday of the result of last week's election in the mineral-rich central African country.

At least two male protesters were dragged from the crowd and led away in handcuffs.

Police closed the Whitehall thoroughfare in front of Downing Street to traffic as a result of the protest.

Kabila, in power since 2001, led a divided opposition pack of 10 candidates with 46.4 percent after ballots from just over two-thirds of polling centres had been tallied, according to latest results issued Tuesday.

One of the protesters in London, Jason Kabuta, in his 20s, told AFP: "We want Kabila to go. There is genocide in our country.

"The Western countries are supporting him and that is why we are outside Downing Street calling on David Cameron to stop.

"The Western countries are supporting Kabila because they want to steal our resources," said Kabuta, who has lived in Britain since the age of nine.

A spokesman for London's Metropolitan police described the demonstration as a "small protest".

© 2011 AFP

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