A policewoman in the Democratic Republic of Congo was arrested Tuesday after allegedly shooting a young protester dead at close range in the eastern city of Goma, police said.
The teenaged boy was killed as angry residents staged protests after police prevented them from pursuing thieves who were preying on northern neighbourhoods in the city, a local official added.
“I have just arrested the officer who shot the youth at pointblank range. It is a policewoman. We have placed her in the hands of the appropriate authorities,” police chief Jean-Baptiste Bukili told an AFP correspondent.
“A young man around 14 years old was killed,” added Gervais Katembo, the local official.
He said that residents had torched a police station to protest insecurity in northern Goma neighbourhoods.
“Bandits were active overnight towards Kisoko and stole things from the population. When people wanted to chase the bandits, police stopped them, which is what infuriated the inhabitants,” Katembo said.
Pictures posted on Twitter showed a youth lying on his back wearing a bloody T-shirt, and a policewoman who had been arrested by a man wearing an army uniform.
Youth minister Billy Kambale also used Twitter to condemn “repeated violence by police against demonstrators”.
“No situation justifies a law officer firing at a student. The judicial system must take up the case of an officer who fired pointblank at a student in Goma,” Kambale said.
Tension remained high in Goma around midday, with main streets in several districts barricaded and business activity brought to a halt.