Bemba still in SA embassy in DRC

The future of the former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jean-Pierre Bemba, could be decided by the DRC Parliament on Monday.

Bemba was still taking refuge on Monday in the South African embassy compound in the DRC capital, Kinshasa, said South African foreign affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa.

The meeting comes after calm returned to Kinshasa on Saturday following two days of heavy fighting between Bemba’s forces and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), which claimed dozens of lives and left many wounded.

“We understand that the DRC Parliament was meeting today [Monday] to discuss the issue of immunity,” Mamoepa said.

He confirmed that Bemba’s stay at the compound was “temporary” and that the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country, known by the acronym Monuc, was also holding discussions to find a “resolution” to the situation.

Bemba sought refuge late on Thursday after heavy fighting broke out between members of his personal bodyguard and the FARDC.

The fighting broke out after Bemba, who is also a former rebel chief and presidential candidate, refused a government order for his bodyguards to be integrated into the regular army.

The judicial DRC authorities on Friday announced that they had issued “an arrest warrant for high treason” against him.—Sapa

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