Stormy return for DR Congo opposition chief Tshisekedi
KINSHASA (AFP) – Democratic Republic of Congo’s main opposition figure Etienne Tshisekedi returned to his country from South Africa Sunday to be escorted directly to his home by a police convoy that prevented him from meeting with party supporters.
Tshisekedi, leader of the UDPS party, had called on members of his party to mobilise for his arrival but they were prevented from doing so by police, who used tear gas to disperse people.
The 80-year-old politician, who had been abroad for nearly two weeks, was also unable to lead a rally in DR Congo’s capital Kinshasa at which he was supposed to “address the Congolese people”, his party said.
In a statement released on Sunday, the party denounced “the kidnapping and torture of senior UDPS figures”.
Demonstrations by the opposition have been banned in DR Congo since 2011 after violent protests erupted over voting irregularities during the November election.
Tshisekedi lost that election to the current president, Joseph Kabila.