DR Congo’s Main Opposition Leader, Etienne Tshidekedi, Dies In Belgium

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s main opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi has died on Wednesday evening at age 84 in Belgium’s capital Brussels.

His party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) confirmed Tshisekedi’s death in a statement from Kinshasa.

“The Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) wishes to inform the national as well as the international public of the death of its President Mr Etienne Tshisekedi Wa Mulumba who died this Wednesday February 1, 2016 at 1722 (1622 GMT) at the St. Elisabeth Hospital in Brussels,” the statement said.

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“The programme for his funeral will be made public soon,” the statement signed by UDPS spokesperson Augustin Kabuya said.

The opposition heavyweight left the DRC for Belgium on January 24 to receive medical treatment.

Tshisekedi had been in Kinshasa since mid last year and participated in the country’s national dialogue to avert crisis due to the election stalemate.

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He was expected to head a transitional body, known as the Implementation Council, until elections are held at the end of year.

He was considered as one of the main key advocates of democracy in the country.

Etienne Tshisekedi was the runner-up in the November 2011 presidential election which was marked by voter irregularities.

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