Southern Africa: Protests Over High Food Prices Likely in DRC and Zambia

Increased food prices, due to the suspension of Rwandan imports in the DRC and due to maize shortages in Zambia, are likely to lead to demonstrations.

DRC: Price increases likely to cause protests and riots in Kinshasa and Bukavu

On November 28, the government accused M23 rebels of looting and transporting goods to Rwanda prior to their withdrawal from the regional capital Goma. The M23 incursion has caused the suspension of goods imported from Rwanda through Goma. This has led to significant price increases of between 30% and 50% on goods such as tea and beef and especially beans, a staple in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The price rise, coming at the same time as general dissatisfaction with the government's handling of the security crisis in eastern DRC, is likely to trigger further protests in Kinshasa and Bukavu over the coming week, raising the risk of protests spreading to towns like Kisangani, Bunia, and Kindu. Police response is likely to be heavy-handed especially in Kinshasa including the use of batons and tear gas with the use of live ammunition as a last resort. Previous protests resulted in arson attacks on government buildings and the looting of shops.

Zambia: Violent protests very likely in the Copperbelt province

Since November 20, acute shortages of maize meal have been reported in the Copperbelt province. Despite government assurances on November 25 that millers would resume adequate supply, local media reported continued shortages which had caused price increases of up to 100%.

If prices do not normalise by next week, violent protests are highly likely particularly in light of reports of opposition incitement. Likely targets include retailers and local millers in Copperbelt towns and cities including Kitwe, Ndola, Mufulira and Chingola. The government is likely to respond to street protests with force. Mining assets in the region are unlikely to be targeted; however, there is a moderate risk of disruption (not exceeding a couple of days) to cargo due to street protests.

Exclusive Analysis is a specialist intelligence company that forecasts commercially relevant political and violent risks worldwide. They leverage their source network and methodology to produce accurate and actionable forecasts. Their global network of 200 expert analysts and 1,000 sources reports risk-relevant, specialist information to their core London-based team. Their clients are from a broad range of industries including insurance, banking and asset management, energy, mining, aviation, shipping and telecoms.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 ThinkAfricaPress. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.