DR Congo's Tshisekedi says 'some people confuse democracy and anarchy'

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In an interview with FRANCE 24 and RFI, DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi said Saturday that he backed a decision to ban an opposition march in the capital, pointing to violence that broke out last weekend to justify the decision.


Speaking in his first interview since becoming president, Tshisekedi said he backed a decision by the governor of Kinshasa to ban Sunday's march.

Since assuming the presidency at the beginning of the year he has not banned any demonstrations.

He explained, however, that "we have the impression that there are some who confuse democracy with anarchy," he added.

Tear gas and clashes

Tshisekedi referred to clashes that took place last Sunday as opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba flew back into the country.

On that occasion, police fired tear gas at rock-throwing protesters who targeted Bemba's convoy, AFP correspondents at the scene reported.

Sunday's march was called by Bemba and Martin Fayulu, who maintains that he was robbed of victory in the December 30 presidential election

Their Lamuka coalition said late Friday that they would go ahead with the march despite the governor's ban. They want to protest the constitutional court's invalidation of the election of around 20 of their deputies.

Tshisekedi a 'puppet'

But Kinshasa police chief Sylvano Kasongo said any gatherings of more than 10 people Sunday would be dispersed.

Fayulu accuses Tshisekedi, himself a longtime opposition leader, of being the "puppet" of the outgoing president Joseph Kabila, whose party enjoys a majority in parliament.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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