A policewoman was arrested after firing point-blank at a young demonstrator who died Tuesday at a rally against insecurity in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, police said.
« I just stopped the policeman who shot this young man point blank. She’s a policewoman. We have just handed it over to the competent authorities, « police commander Jean-Baptiste Bukili told an AFP correspondent.
« A young man of about 14 was shot at close range by a police officer, » said district chief Gervais Katembo.
According to him, the demonstrators « burned the police station » to denounce insecurity in the northern neighborhoods of the city.
« The bandits operated that night on Kisoko and took away property from the population. When the population wanted to pursue the bandits, the police prevented them, which angered the inhabitants, « he said.
Widely posted on Twitter, the photos of a young boy lying on his back, his bloody white T-shirt, and the policewoman arrested by a man in military uniform, provoked strong reactions within the central government.
« Repeated police violence »
Youth Minister Billy Kambale denounced « repeated police violence against protesters ».
« In any situation we can not justify the fact that an officer of the order shoots a student. Justice must seize the case of the police officer who has just fired point at a student in Goma, « wrote Twitte the minister.
« We demand that there be an opening of the flagrancy trial on the killing of this young Kisoko. It is not possible that the police officer continues to use lethal weapons in full manifestation, « said the lawyer, deputy provincial deputy speaker of the North Kivu Assembly, Jean-Paul Lumbulumbu.
In Goma at midday (10:00 GMT), the situation was still tense between police and protesters. The main arteries of the Katoy and Majengo neighborhoods were barricaded and strewn with stones.
Traffic was almost non-existent and activities paralyzed.