Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday it had “credible reports” that Democratic Republic of Congo’s security forces had killed at least 37 people during two days of violent protests against President Joseph Kabila.
Ida Sawyer, Africa researcher for the New York-based human rights group, said 20 people died on Monday and 17 were killed overnight and on Tuesday. Congo’s interior minister said 17 people had died, three of them policemen.
Several people died in a second day of violence in DR Congo Tuesday, with three opposition HQ buildings torched in fresh clashes between police and opponents of President Joseph Kabila.
The violence came after a bloody day on Monday during which opposition groups said more than 50 people had died in protests calling for Kabila’s resignation.
The national secretary of the main opposition group blamed a “commando” unit from the regime for torching the offices of the opposition.
AFP journalists reported hearing tear gas and gunfire on Tuesday morning near the UDPS headquarters.
At least two burnt bodies could be seen in the fire-ravaged building. Two others were burned alive and another injured, AFP journalists said.