Congo-Kinshasa: We Demand an End to Arbitrary Detentions of Activists Committed to Social Justice

IDPs in North Kivu

Congolese youth activists Jean Marie Kalonji and Sylva Mbikayi from the youth movement Quatrieme Voie/II Est Temps (The Fourth Way/ It's Time) in the Democratic Republic of Congo were arrested without reason on Saturday, 18 November by the Congolese Intelligence Agency (ANR in French). Kalonji and Mbikayi represent the silencing of credible voices in the Congo challenging the Kabila regime. By KATE JANSE VAN RENSBURG.

The spirit of Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected prime minister of an independent Congo, has encouraged the Congolese youth to take up the struggle for a self-determined Congo and an independent and unified Africa. Lumumba was a political prisoner under the Belgians before he became prime minister and again when arrested by the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) state-backed forces under Mobutu Sese Seko before his CIA-aided assassination in 1961.

Fire burns bright but it spreads more fiercely when fuelled by strong winds of solidarity. Just like international voices of dissent stood in solidarity with the fighting spirits of the youth of Soweto in 1976, we must stand in solidarity with the resisting youth of the Congo and all political prisoners globally. We must show unequivocal support for the bold flames of resistance rising from...

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