Big crowds welcome home Congo presidential hopeful Bemba after long absence

Big crowds welcome home Congo presidential hopeful Bemba after long absenceBy Amedee Mwarabu KINSHASA (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of cheering supporters greeted opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba on Wednesday as he returned to Democratic Republic of Congo after a decade in prison to submit his candidacy for December’s presidential election. Bemba, a former vice president and warlord whose war crimes convictions at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague were quashed on appeal in May, is expected to pose a stiff challenge to President Joseph Kabila or his preferred successor. After arriving aboard a private jet at Kinshasa airport, Bemba, 55, dressed in a dark suit and a red tie, shook hands with family members and officials from his MLC party before driving off towards the city center in a white SUV.


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