Election violence is defined as violent action against property, people and the electoral process. Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leonne, Chad, Uganda, Zambia , Zimbabwe and Ethiopia have all witnessed electoral violence. So has South Africa.

In the DRC, ethnic, economic, political and social divisions have created a volatile environment for the delayed presidential elections.

Kabila refused to step down as President when his final term ended in December 2016. Now, it is unlikely that the balloting will not take place until 2019 because of the need to update the electoral roll.

Whatever the reasons, activists in DRC want action. The situation could turn violent.

If you are in a city during a riot or election violence, stay indoors. Fill the bathtub with water. Barricade the doors and windows with heavy furniture. If you can, move to an upper floor and arm yourself. This creates a choke point which is easier to defend if there are several intruders. Wait for order to be restored.

To learn how to protect yourself during election violence in Africa, join one of our courses.

H.E.A.T. tip: You can reduce the effects of tear gas by wearing swimmers’ goggles and a nose-clip. These will protect  the sensitive membranes in your eyes and nose. Cover your mouth with a cloth but remember to breathe.