One policeman was killed in clashes between rival Muslim groups over the right to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan in an unfortunate event that turn out at Martyrs’ Stadium in Kinshasa, DRC on Thursday.
Sylvano Kasongo, Kinshasa Police Chief briefed the media about the deadly scene .
“Unfortunately, there were extremists on both sides who did not want reconciliation and to pray together. They threw projectiles, they violently attacked the police. We mourn the death of a police officer today.”
The police chief also added that 40 people were hurt, 35 arrested and a police vehicle burnt outside the stadium premises amidst the fighting that is not in-line with the true spirit of the traditional celebration of Eid Al Fitr.
#DR Congo: Eid celebrations clash
A policeman died Thursday in Kinshasa, DR Congo, in a clash between rival Muslim groups over the location of Eid celebrations. The head of the Kinshasa police has blamed extremists for the violence which also saw several people wounded. pic.twitter.com/3XKlialNY1
— MwanzoTV (@MwanzoTv) May 13, 2021
One Papy Okitankoyi Kimoto, who was observing the spiritual celebration was shocked by the situation and described it as shameful. He said:
“It’s a pity; we have done a month of Ramadan to come here to see these scenes of street guerrilla warfare like this. It’s a shame.”
“The root of the conflict was referred back to year-long dispute over leadership between the two rival factions of the Comico Muslim Federation in the Democratic Republic Of Congo.
“Although leaders of the two rival wings of the Muslim community had guaranteed to the governor of Kinshasa that they would celebrate the end of Ramadan together, unfortunately, a policeman was killed in the clashes,” spokesman Charles Mbutamuntu said.
Meanwhile in Kinshasa there were no Eid prayers as two imams could not agree on who was to lead in the prayers
Video courtesy pic.twitter.com/8tt3svQTHM
— MvitaOne (@FauzKhalid) May 13, 2021
While the case is brought before the courts, the two sides remain odd and sometimes come to blows as it was on sacred Thursday holiday.
The Muslim community has about the 10 percent population of the Democratic Republic of Congo and they are the most concentrated in the eastern part of the country