Rossy Mukendi Tshimanga was killed by law enforcement officers who opened fire on protesters inside and outside the parish of Saint Benoît de Lemba in Kinshasa, while the latter took part in a peaceful march organiSed by the “Collectif 2016” calling for the implementation of the New Year’s Eve Agreement. The police reportedly fired point blank at Mr. Rossy Mukendi Tshimanga AND used tear gas against the protesters, including the hospital and maternity ward of the parish, where there were women and newborns.
Police arrested a police officer suspected of involvement in the assassination of Mr. Rossy Mukendi Tshimanga. According to some sources, the person arrested was not however the person who fired the shot that killed Rossy. Rossy Mukendi Tshimanga was the founder of “Collectif 2016”, a citizens’ movement based in Kinshasa that aims to contribute to the effective organisation of the presidential election in accordance with the constitution and which promotes human rights, in particular the right to freedom of association and expression through public awareness and peaceful demonstrations.
He participated in the organisation of the March 25, 2018 march and in public awareness activities on this subject. In recent months he also organized several other awareness-raising and advocacy activities in collaboration with the Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ) and other citizen movements.
Because of his human rights activities, the Congolese authorities have repeatedly violated the rights of Rossy Mukendi Tshimanga. On April 10, 2017, he was arrested by soldiers during a peaceful march for the publication of the electoral calendar and held in incommunicado detention at the Kokolo military camp before being released on April 13, 2017. Following his detention he reported that he had been threatened with death, torture and ill-treatment in order to force him to end his civic engagement.
He was subsequently arrested again by police on 17 May 2017 with 13 of his colleagues, during a peaceful march they had organised, in Ngaba commune (south of Kinshasa). While his 13 colleagues were released two days later, Rossy Mukendi Tshimanga was detained in the Military Action and Intelligence Service (MRSA, formerly DEMIAP) until June 16, 2017 denied his rights and refused assistance or advice. They also failed to bring him before a judge as required by law.
On July 28, 2017, an arrest warrant was issued against him on the grounds that he was a member of the Kamwina Nsapu militia. Since then, he was wanted by the Congolese security services. Rossy Mukendi Tshimanga regularly received telephone calls inviting him to visit either the Kinshasa Provincial Police Station or the Ministry of the Interior regarding “a communication concerning him”.