Eleven people have been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo during protests to demand that President Joseph Kabila step down after his mandate expired, according to the government’s spokesman.
Nine people died in the capital Kinshasa, the spokesman said, while a protester and a policeman were killed in the second city Lubumbashi according the region’s governor, the AFP news agency said on Tuesday.
“In Kinshasa there were nine dead, not a single one more,” Lambert Mende said as Kabila appeared set to stay on despite the conclusion of his mandate.
Jean-Claude Kazembe, Lubumbashi’s governor, said that along with the two fatalities, three people had been hurt in clashes in the city.
Demonstrators took to the streets earlier in the day, beating on improvised drums and shouting slogans against Kabila, 45, who has led the country since 2001.
There were reports of gunfire in several areas in the capital. A muffled explosion was also heard in the posh quarter of Gombe, where the presidential palace is located. Residents said tear gas shells were fired in other areas.