Police in Congo have fired tear gas at demonstrators who marched after church services Sunday around the country to call for President Joseph Kabila to step down from power.


Catholic churches and activists had called for the peaceful demonstrations Sunday in Kinshasa, Goma, Lubumbashi and other cities. Police killed at least seven people on Dec. 31 in similar protests held a year after an accord was signed to set a new election date, free political prisoners and ease tensions.


Government critics say the agreement has not been implemented and call on Kabila not to run for another term in line with the Constitution.


The government cut off SMS and internet services Sunday to discourage gatherings.


International observers have warned that the political tensions could further destabilize this resource-rich country.



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