The Democratic Republic of Congo law enforcement on Wednesday used tear gas and water cannons on protesters in front of parliament who were rallying against a proposed law that would put prosecutors under the authority of the government instead of the courts.
A member of the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) put forward the proposed law, which is facing opposition from members of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).
The tension between members of PPRD and UDPS has been ongoing, especially since the election of President Felix Tshisekedi, a member of the UDPS. However, Tshisekedi allegedly has a power-sharing deal with ex-President Joseph Kabila, who is part of the PPRD. Kabila’s allies control a majority of the seats in parliament and ministries.
The use of tear gas on protesters has been criticized in the international community, as it is banned under international law during war. On the second day of protests, a crowd of mostly young men headed into the parliament grounds in the capital, Kinshasa, before facing resistance from armed forces.