Police officers clash with protesters during a Kinshasa rally to mark the 59th anniversary of DR Congo's independence. - AFP Photo
KINSHASA – Police in DR Congo announced on Monday that a protester they had previously said died from a gunshot wound during a banned anti-government march was in fact alive and in emergency care, after authorities broke up several weekend rallies.
The national police had earlier said the man was shot during unrest as police dispersed protesters in the eastern city of Goma on Sunday and that he had died in hospital.
But on Monday the national police said that "contrary to the communication that announced the death of a protester," the man is instead "currently in emergency care".
"The provincial security committee went to the hospital where the patient is staying and confirmed that the protester is being treated at the hospital," the national police said in a statement.
National police spokesman Pierrot Mwanamputu had said on Sunday that a person who was "wounded by a gunshot died in hospital" after "resistance" to police efforts to disperse the marchers in Goma.
An opposition youth official said that police "fired real bullets" in Goma, while a local police commissioner said some of the demonstrators were armed.
In the capital Kinshasa, on the other side of the country, police used tear gas to break up another banned march.
The opposition Lamuka coalition called the protests to mark the 59th anniversary of the central African country's independence from Belgium.
President Felix Tshisekedi, speaking in his first major interview since taking office early this year, told French media on Saturday that there would be no repression. – AFP