As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) braces itself for the long-awaited results of national elections, Amnesty International warned that a human rights crisis is looming in the country that could force countless people to flee if protests turn violent. More than 20,000 people have already fled the country since mid-December 2018.
“After multiple delays and prolonged waiting for the results of the election, the mood in the DRC is tense. The authorities appear to be preparing to escalate crackdown on protests, with many parts of the country under heavy military guard and many media outlets already shut down and muzzled,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
“In the last few days police across the country have threatened and warned people not to take part in protests after the results are announced, sparking fears that demonstrations against the results will be dealt with brutally. The Congolese people are on a knife edge.”
Soldiers on the streets
In many parts of the DRC a heavy military presence is contributing to the tense mood.