Security forces reportedly dispersed a protest in Walungu (South Kivu province) with tear gas in the morning (local time) on Thursday, April 9. Protesters erected roadblocks and burned tires on roads to denounce the arrest of Vital Kamerhe, Chief of Staff of President Felix Tshisekedi, the day prior over corruption allegations. Related protests were also reported on Wednesday, April 8, in front of the prosecutor's office in Kinshasa, before being dispersed by the police amid a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people, ongoing in the capital due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
A heightened security presence has been reported in Walungu. Further protests are likely in Walungu and Kinshasa over the near term. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Individuals in the DRC are advised to exercise caution and maintain a low profile at all times, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and obey any instructions issued by the local authorities.