Congolese security forces killed 14 members of separatist sect Bundu dia Kongo on Monday during clashes in the capital Kinshasa and southwestern city of Matadi, police said
BDK is a new religious movement with a political and cultural agenda that is associated with the Kongo ethnic group.
Police said the clashes followed an attack by BDK members on Kinshasa’s main prison and demonstrations by other members against Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa, Matadi and the southwestern city of Boma.
A series of large-scale prison breaks across Congo in the past few months has aggravated widespread insecurity since Kabila refused to step down from power after his mandate expired in December.
BDK leader and self-styled prophet Ne Nsemi escaped from prison in May.
He had called on his supporters to rise up today against Kabila, whom Nsemi accuses of being Rwandan a common slur by the president’s opponents.
Police spokesman, Pierrot Mwanamputu, said in a statement that 12 BDK assailants in Kinshasa, armed with calibre-12 rifles and bladed weapons, were killed by “stray bullets” fired by security forces to disperse them.
He stated that two others were killed in the southwestern town of Matadi, where three police officers were also injured, he added.
One security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, also told Reuters that two army officers had been killed in Kinshasa.