DR Congo opposition strike leaves Kinshasa quiet

People walk in an empty street in Kinshasa on April 3, 2017 during a general strike called by the oppositionImage source, AFP
Image caption,
Kinshasa streets which are usually busy are deserted as a result of the strike

The usually busy streets of the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, are deserted as the result of a general strike.

The strike is aimed at pressurising President Joseph Kabila to back a political deal which fell apart week.

The deal outlined the creation of a new government paving the way for a general election.

Mr Kabila was supposed to step down last year but the vote to replace him was not held.

Security forces have been deployed to protect business owners who have chosen to ignore the strike.

Mr Kabila's second and final term came to an end last November but he failed to relinquish power, with his government saying elections could not be organised on schedule because of financial and logistical difficulties.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Motorcycle taxi drivers have had a quiet day in Kinshasa

Following deadly protests, the Catholic church brokered an agreement to create a transitional government that would oversee the elections, which under the deal were scheduled for December.

But the deal fell apart over a disagreement about the proposed power-sharing mechanism, including who would become the prime minister.

The Rassemblement, the main coalition of opposition political parties which called the strike on Monday, blames the government for the collapse of the deal.

The bishops called on the president to get involved in salvaging the process.

DR Congo has a long history of instability and has never had a smooth transfer of power since independence in 1960.