Thirty people sentenced to death for anti-police clashes in DR Congo | Conflict news


Thirty people were sentenced to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after a one-day trial for their role in the anti-police violence that marked the end of Ramadan in the capital.

A policeman was killed in Kinshasa on Thursday as rival Muslim groups fought for the right to mark the end of Ramadan at a major sports stadium.

Lawyer Tshipamba’s chief said 30 people were sentenced to death in a trial that began Friday, a day after the violence. A recording of the proceedings confirmed the verdict.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has not imposed death sentences since a moratorium was introduced in 2003. Since then, death sentences have been commuted to life imprisonment.

Dozens injured

The regional government said that in addition to the death of the police officer, several people were injured and a police vehicle was burned during the fighting outside the Martyrs Stadium.

Kinshasa police chief Sylvano Kasongo said about 40 people were injured and 35 arrested.

Two rival factions have contested for years the leadership of the Muslim Comic Federation of the DRC. The two sides disagree and occasionally come to blows.

About 10 percent of the DRC’s population is Muslim, mostly concentrated in the east of the country.

But Kinshasa, on the Congo River, west of the vast Central African country, also traditionally celebrates mass celebrations for the end of the month of Ramadan’s sacred fast in public squares and main roads.

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