16 July 2017

Congo-Kinshasa: Paris Cancels Congolese Gig After Anti-Kabila Protests

Photo: Héritier Watanabe
Héritier Watanabe

French police cancelled a concert by a Congolese singer on Saturday after violent protests around the venue by opponents of Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila.

Paris's police service said they had called off the event after "unacceptable" overcrowding by demonstrators around the Olympia music venue ahead of a planned performance by Heritier Watanabe - who is viewed as being close to Kabila.

Three people were arrested after a car was set on fire on a street near the venue, according to a police statement.

Authorities had earlier banned protesters from gathering due to a "risk of upsetting public order."

A lawyer for the venue told AFP that they had asked police to call off the concert "due to the difficult political context in DR Congo".

Several Congolese artists, including Watanabe, are frequently accused by opponents of Kabila of being close to his regime, having sung on the trail of his 2006 and 2011 election campaigns.

Political violence gripped the giant, mineral-rich country after Kabila failed to step down after his mandate ended in December.

Under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding further unrest, he was allowed to remain in office pending elections.

But the polls have been repeatedly delayed and the DR Congo's electoral commission said this month it would not be possible to hold a nationwide vote this year due to ongoing security issues, particularly in the central Kasai region.


Returning Congolese Find Homes in Ruins, Livelihoods Destroyed

Fishing boats line the shore of Lake Albert in the north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Children play in the… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 Radio France Internationale. 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 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 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.