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Clashes Between Students Protesting Fee Increases and Police in the DRC Turn Deadly

Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have issued a warning to protesting students to vacate Kinshasa University after clashes left one police officer dead and two others injured.

News24 reports that police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have issued a warning to protesting students at Kinshasa University (UniKin) o vacate the campus.

The warning comes after clashes between the protesting students and the police resulted in the death of a police officer with two others suffering injuries. Students have been protesting against proposed increases in tuition fees.


This past Tuesday, the DRC government gave a 48-hour deadline for protesting students to vacate UniKin—a deadline the police are now emphasising today.

Part of a recent statement released by the police reads as follows:

"Any student found on the campus on Thursday "will be considered an infiltrator, an enemy of the Republic, and in league with the bandits" who killed the officer. Police will use all legal means to evacuate the campus and residences."

According to AfricaNews, local media reports indicate that tuition fees of 253 000 francs (USD 429) during the last academic year have nearly doubled to 485 000 francs (USD 822) this academic year. Many students have since been displaced with many others reporting that they currently have nowhere to sleep.

President Felix Tshisekedi is expected to meet with student leaders tomorrow in an effort to find a way to move forward.

Earlier last year, student protests erupted in the southeastern regions of the country after a large area, including Lubumbashi University, was left without electricity and water following damage caused to infrastructure by torrential rains. Additionally students also protested a hike in fees.

Violent clashes with the police subsequently led to the death of one police officer and three students according to IOL.

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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