KINSHASA, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Congo authorities swept through the southeastern mining hub of Lubumbashi on Thursday, making dozens of arrests after deadly protests against President Joseph Kabila, local activists said.
Lubumbashi mayor Jean Oscar Sanguza told Reuters it was a “sweep up” operation targeting “criminals and bandits”, and that security forces were looking for arms, but local activists said they were arresting young men suspected of being opposition.
“As soon as you go by on the road and you’re a young man - you’re in a group of two or three - they (security forces) take you,” said Jean Claude Baka, regional head of activist group ASADHO, estimating 50 arrests since Thursday morning.
Jean Pierre Muteba, another local activist, put the numbers arrested since Tuesday’s protests at 400. (Reporting by Aaron Ross and Tim Cocks; Editing by Alison Williams)