Calm has been restored in Kinshasa after the clashes that broke out on Tuesday evening between opposition supporters and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) police.
Eyewitnesses said that the police were forced to use tear gas to disperse supporters of the opposition party, Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).
The situation remained confusing with both sides giving contradictory explanation regarding the origin of the incidents.
According to Augustin Kabuya, the spokesman for the UDPS president Etienne Tshisekedi, violence broke out after one of the party’s supporters was shot and killed by police near the party’s headquarters.
Kabuya accused the police of having attempted to take away the body of the victim when UDPS supporters tried to retrieve it.
However, police spokesman Mwana Mputu said the violence was caused by a scuffle between two families who were fighting over a dead body at Saint Joseph hospital in neighbouring Limete commune.
Mputu said one of the families called a soldier who was nearby to come and separate the two families.
“In his desire to restore calm, corporal Cesar Lakala opened fire. A stray bullet hit a member of the feuding families and he died on the spot. Then people wearing UDPS uniforms came and picked the body of one of the family members and took it to the party’s headquarters from where they started burning tyres and barricading the road,” police spokesman said, adding that this is when police were forced to intervene to restore order.
Mputu said calm had been restored and traffic was flowing along the 10th street that leads to Tshisekedi’s residence.
Regarding the soldier who opened fire, the police spokesman said he had been arrested and will soon appear in a military court.