World newswires

DR Congo fuel companies end strike after price rise

Oil companies operating in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo have ended a six-day-long strike over fuel prices after the government agreed to an increase, a business association said on Thursday.

"The strike is over -- economic activity will resume normally in the southeast," the president of the Congo Federation of Businesses (FEC), Albert Yuma, said.

Yuma was speaking after a meeting between fuel retailers and the DRC government.

Energy companies have been hit by a slump in the value of the local currency, the Congolese franc.

Firms have to pay for oil in dollars but their income is in francs and prices are regulated locally.

Companies in the mineral-rich region of Katanga refused to distribute petroleum products from August 6 because of clamps that, they said, were far tougher than in other regions.

Economy Minister Acacia Bandubola on Thursday published new prices, indicating a rise from 1,390 francs (73 cents) a litre to 1,820 francs (96 cents) a litre in this region.

Pump prices in Kinshasa and western provinces were unchanged at 1,995 francs per litre, in the east at 1,950 francs and in the north at 1,800 francs.