Authorities in France have banned a Congolese musician’s Paris concert scheduled for 25 September because of security concerns, warning it poses a threat to public order.
In a statement the Paris police chief said Werrason’s Zénith Arena gig could ignite tensions between different political factions of the Congolese diaspora in France.
"The concert is taking place in a particularly tense and violent political context between supporters and opponents of the current regime," Didier Lallement is quoted as saying by French radio station RFI.
The statement goes on to say that Werrason – whose real name is Noël Ngiama Makanda – is viewed as close to Congo’s President FélixTshisekedi, as well as his predecessor Joseph Kabila.
Werrason has tried his hand at a political career before. In the 2018 elections he was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for Mr Kabila’s Common Front for Congo (FCC).
In 2011 Werrason had to cancel two concerts due to threats of disturbances, according to the police statement.
Werrason is not the only artist opponents of the Congolese regime have targeted in France. There was violence on the sidelines of Latin singer Fally Ipupa’s February 2020 concert, according to RFI.
Werrason has not yet commented on the cancellation, but just a week ago he assured fans that security services would be present at the event.