Congolese Crowds welcome ex-warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba back home

Posted: 2018-08-01T17:11:51Z
Congolese Crowds welcome ex-warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba back home

Hundreds of people have gathered in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital, Kinshasa to welcome Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba after 11 years in exile and prison.

Donning T-shirts, hats and scarves bearing his face, crowds of his supporters met Bemba at the airport on Wednesday. Mr Bemba landed at Kinshasa airport on a private jet from Belgium after a decade trying to clear his name.

He had a war crimes conviction by the International Criminal Court overturned in June and has since declared his intention to contest the long-delayed presidential election in December against President Joseph Kabila.

However, Kabila’s government says he is not eligible to run for office due to a corruption conviction.

The ex-warlord is currently appealing against the corruption conviction, which relates to witness tampering during his trial at The Hague, but no date has been fixed for the verdict.

Bemba insists that government has no right to decide who could be a candidate in the election.