DRC Political Confusion Heightens

The opposition on Tuesday, August 23 called for a general strike the same day slated for the start of preparatory work for political dialogue.

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There is uncertainty, confusion and gloom surrounding the political future of the Democratic Republic of Congo as both the government and opposition have adopted intransigent positions. The holding of elections this year is the bone of contention  in the stalemate.

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Opposition parties on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 began a nationwide strike to protest what they say are efforts by President Joseph Kabila to block election preparations and hang on to power, Bloomberg News stated. The main opposition alliance announced the protest on August 20 and also stated that it had withdrawn from planned talks on the organization aimed at preparing for national political dialogue that would culminate in elections.   The opposition leaders called on students and workers to stay at home in what it termed “Ghost town” strike action.

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News 24 Nigeria reported that at 8 a.m., roads in the centre of the capital city, Kinshasa, were very quiet with few vehicles circulating and most large shops were closed. In the eastern city of Goma, youths blocked a road in the Katindo district with rocks, while other traffic and some business activity continued, Sebastian Nduhira, 47, a researcher reportedly said. In the southeastern mining town of Kolwezi, commercial activity was unaffected, Delphin Monga, provincial secretary of the UCDT labor union,  reportedly said. The central market in the northeast commercial hub of Beni was empty, but most shops on the main road remained open and traffic flowed.

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