Protests have erupted in the DR Congo capital Kinshasa after a plane carrying President’s advance equipment went missing.
Early this Friday, President Felix Tshisekedi’s office issued a statement confirming information that has been circulating on social media. The cargo plane antonov 72 went missing on Thursday as it flew from Bukavu enroute to Kinshasa.
The plane was carrying advance security and transport equipment including the Presidential car Tshisekedi used while in the South Kivu region early this week.
Immediately after the confirmation from Tshisekedi’s office, militants of the UDPS party which was founded by Tshisekedi’s deceased father, gathered at its headquarters in Kinshasa.
Reports say they burned tyres and barricaded roads around the UDPS office. They were chanting messages accusing unknown people of shooting down the plane thinking it was President Tshisekedi.
“They wanted to assassinate the President, it is unacceptable,” read placards and chants of the protestors.
Another said: “It is sabotage, they are looking for problems.”
President Tshisekedi took office in January, after what has been suspected, was a deal with former leader Joseph Kabila, who has got himself peaceful exit. However, the same election gave Kabila’s coalition control of national parliament, provincial assemblies and Governors.
Tshisekedi is also faced with an opposition coalition headed by powerful political and business figures.
Some protestor attacked the office of Kabila’s party PPRD in Kinshasa, setting it ablaze.
Meanwhile, by the afternoon, the military announced the plane had crashed. The plane’s wreckage has been located in Maniema, hundreds of kilometers away.
There were 4 crew members and 4 other passengers on the plane. There are believed to be no surviors.
In the afternoon, police had restored calm in the protest region, but the situation remains tense, according to local media.