Bemba returns to Europe after brief DRC visit
Publish date: 06 August 2018
Issue Number: 785
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Former DRC rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba will head back to Europe after launching his bid for December's long-delayed elections. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, he arrived in Kinshasa on Wednesday after spending 11 years abroad, much of it in detention after being convicted of war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court. A report on the News24 site notes that he was acquitted in June. ‘His next visit to DRC is scheduled for September to take part in work in the Senate and further electoral activities,’ said Bemba’s spokesperson Jacques Djoli. Also this weekend, a pro-Kabila group said it was making ‘final adjustments’ before it chooses its candidate for the 23 December poll. Analysts say Bemba's return has introduced even more uncertainty into an already volatile election process.
Banned opposition leader Moise Katumbi will not attempt to land in the DRC after being barred from entering the country, but will instead try to enter via a road from Zambia, his party said on Friday. Katumbi, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since May 2016, had planned to fly from Johannesburg to his former stronghold of Lubumbashi in a bid to stand in December’s long-delayed elections in the DRC. A report on the News24 site notes that Katumbi's spokesperson Olivier Kamitatu said ‘authorisation to fly over and land was refused by Kinshasa’. The former Katanga Governor faces arrest after being handed a three-year jail term in absentia in June 2016 in a case of alleged property fraud.