On November 28, 2023, the electoral campaign trail in Kindu, a city located in the Maniema province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, turned violent as police officers resorted to firing shots to disperse irate youths. The agitated mob was hurling projectiles at the convoy of presidential candidate Moïse Katumbi, who is a prominent figure in the 'Ensemble pour la République' political party.
Conflict Amid Campaigns
The incident, which has left an indelible scar on the electoral proceedings, allegedly resulted in the death of one individual and injuries to several others, though these reports are yet to be confirmed. Despite the disruptive encounter, Moïse Katumbi's convoy pressed on, continuing its journey towards the intended rally site.
Adding to the political tension, 'Ensemble pour la République' had previously accused the youths from the rival UDPS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress) of destroying effigies of their leader. They further alleged that the acting governor, Afani Idrissa, had directed law enforcement to detain their campaign members. However, Governor Idrissa refuted these claims, asserting that it was the supporters of Moïse Katumbi who had been caught vandalizing the effigies of the incumbent president, who is vying for re-election.
Global Political Unrest
In a related development, just days earlier, on November 23, 2023, Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, was awash with protestors demanding the restoration of the monarchy. The monarchy had been disbanded in 2008, leading to the dethroning of King Gyanendra by a pro-democracy movement. The administration that has held power since the fall of the monarchy has been perceived as falling short of delivering on its promise to improve the nation.
Meanwhile, in the northeastern state of India, Manipur, new instances of violence have emerged as miscreants set deserted houses on fire in Imphal. This comes following a 'Tribal Solidarity March' organized earlier in the year on May 3, to protest against the Meitei community's demand for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list, which sparked ethnic clashes.