More than 2 000 people took to the streets of Kinshasa on Saturday to protest a bid by President Joseph Kabila to modify the constitution to be able to stay in power beyond his two-term limit.
Responding to a call by several opposition parties, the marchers – mostly young men – shouted “Kabila Must Go” as they headed towards a stadium in the north of the DR Congo capital.
The protesters included top figures from the two main opposition parties, the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) and the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), which both have seats in parliament.
Kabila became Africa’s youngest leader at 29 when he was propelled into office after the death of his father Laurent Kabila in 2001, at the height of a civil war that became known as “Africa’s Great War”.
He won elections in 2006 and 2011, but the constitution requires him to step aside after his current term ends, in 2016.
UDPS leader Etienne Tshisekedi was the runner-up in the 2011 election, a result the opposition rejected after polling that international observers said was seriously flawed.