September 3, 2017 / 10:18 AM / 19 days ago

Police fire tear gas at Congo opposition leader's supporters

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police fired tear gas to disperse supporters of Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition chief on Sunday as they gathered in the capital amid high tensions over election delays keeping President Joseph Kabila in power, a Reuters witness said.

Felix Tshisekedi, head of an opposition coalition, is due to fly back to the capital Kinshasa on Sunday after a prolonged absence abroad. Around a dozen supporters had gathered at his family residences in the morning, although there was no sign of violence.

Tshisekedi intends to call for a civil disobedience campaign in order to pressure Kabila, whose mandate expired last year, to step aside.

Congolese authorities banned the coalition’s planned meeting on Sunday, citing a risk of violence in the Central African country of more than 70 million people.

Reporting by Patient Ligodi and Amedee Mwarabu; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Susan Fenton

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