President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC, has served the two terms permitted under the country's Constitution. It is someone else's turn to seek office.
A crisis ensued when Kabila failed to organize timely elections and step down. Following negotiations, Kabila's ruling party and the opposition coalition signed the St. Sylvestre accord. President Kabila agreed not to seek a third term or change the constitution. He would remain in office until the installation of his successor following elections which would be held by the end of December 2017.But there were no elections in the DRC last year, nor will any be held until December 2018 at the earliest. And now, President Kabila's party is talking about changing the Constitution to allow him to run for another term.
The President's refusal to step down and the political machinations that have delayed elections over and over again, have caused a political crisis, heightened insecurity, and triggered a series of street protests in which scores of people have been killed.
On December 31, the Catholic Lay Coordinating Committee organized peaceful demonstrations where security forces used excessive force against unarmed participants. Another peaceful protest was scheduled for Sunday, January 21st. Authorities prepared for the demonstration by pre-emptively shutting down internet and SMS services and forbade gatherings of more than five people. When the peaceful protest nonetheless took place, they shot teargas and live ammunition into the crowd, killing at least 7 people, injuring nearly another hundred and arresting dozens.
We condemn in the strongest terms the violence perpetrated by DRC security forces on January 21 against church-led peaceful protests, said State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauret in a written statement.
We are appalled that the DRC government, including President Kabila, would employ repressive tactics and disproportionate use of lethal force against civilians -- including religious leaders and children -- exercising their democratic rights to call for credible and inclusive elections, she said.
The use of lethal force against Congolese citizens, and the cutting of internet and SMS service, undermine the democratic process, obstruct implementation of the St. Sylvestre Accord and contravene international human rights norms.
We call on President Kabila to hold accountable security force members who fired on civilians or ordered the use of lethal force and urge him and his government to ensure a peaceful and open electoral process so that credible elections are held as scheduled in December 2018.
1. Authorities prepared for the demonstration by pre-emptively shutting down internet and SMS services and forbade gatherings of more than five people.
shut down 关闭，使歇业
Smaller contractors had been forced to shut down.
2. When the peaceful protest nonetheless took place, they shot teargas and live ammunition into the crowd,
live ammunition 实弹
Mousavi had attempted to cancel the rally after receiving warnings that militias responsible for policing it would be equipped with live ammunition.
刚果民主共和国总统约瑟夫 卡比拉(Joseph Kabila)在符合宪法规定的情况下担任了两届总统，是时候换届选举了 。
由于卡比拉没能及时组织选举并准备卸任工作，一场危机随之而来 。在谈判过后，卡比拉的执政党和反对派联盟签署了《圣维斯特维尔协议》 。卡比拉总统同意不再担任第三届总统，也不会修改宪法 。只不过，在2017年12月底之前选举决出的下一任总统上任之前，卡比拉不会卸任 。但去年一整年，刚果都没有进行任何选举，2018年12月之后才有可能进行选举 。而现在，卡比拉的执政党又说要修改宪法，允许其连任三届 。
12月31日，天主教协调委员会组织了和平示威，但安全部队却对手无寸铁的示威者武力相向 。1月21日的周日又发生了一次和平示威 。政府对此有所准备，先手关闭了互联网和短信服务，并禁止五人以上聚集在一起 。和平示威最终还是打响了，政府对人群发射了催泪弹和实弹，导致至少7人死亡，另有近100人受伤，数十人被捕 。
我们极尽犀利之词谴责1月21日刚果安全部队对由教堂领导的和平示威行动所采取的暴力，国务院发言人希瑟 诺尔特(Heather Nauret)在一份纸质声明中这样写道 。
我们呼吁卡比拉总统将那些对平民开火或者下令使用致命武力的安全部队士兵绳之以法，我们敦促卡比拉及其政府确保和平公开的选举进程 。只有这样，可信的选举才能于2018年12月如期进行 。