Congo protests in London lead to 143 arrests


Over 140 people were arrested after demonstrations against President Joseph Kabila's reelection turned violent in London.



London police arrested 143 people following a demonstration in London sparked by the results of the Democratic Republic of Congo election, the BBC reported.

More than 500 people gathered for the angry protest against the reelection of President Joseph Kabila. London police arrested protesters that had broken away from the main group, which were in a designated area near Downing Street, where Prime Minister David Cameron’s office is located, the Associated Press reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Violence flares a day ahead of DR Congo elections

"A total of 143 people have been arrested during a demonstration in central London today," Scotland Yard said in a statement, adding that 110 of these had been detained on suspicion of affray, the AP reported.

Protesters broke away to Trafalgar Square started damaging cars and shops and threatening members of the public, Scotland Yard said, the BBC reported. Scotland Yard said seven people had been charged, one with assaulting a police officer, the BBC reported. Only 13 other people had been released and 116 people remain in custody.

Read more at GlobalPost: DRC election: Calls for calm after rival Tshisekedi rejects results

"We know that the people have elected Mr Etienne Tshisekedi, and we know that he is the president of the Congolese people today," said an 18-year-old female protester to the BBC. "And that's why we want to bring awareness to everything that's going on in the country. People are dying every day."

Tshisekedi, Kabila’s main opposition candidate, rejected the official result and declared himself the winner, sparking clashes between angry protesters and police in the Congo, the Guardian reported. Demonstrations have left at least 18 people dead, the Daily Telegraph reported.

This was the second democratic election in the country, held on Nov. 28. Controversy surrounded the election due to many irregularities at the polls, the Daily Telegraph reported. Kabila won by 49 percent of the vote, according to provisional results.

Read more at GlobalPost: Congo election: President Kabila wins again