AP Interview: Congo's Bemba prepares to challenge Kabila

July 28, 2018 - 12:26 pm

WATERLOO, Belgium (AP) — Fresh from acquittal of war crimes at the International Criminal Court, former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba is returning to his country on Wednesday to take part in a long-delayed presidential election.

Bemba tells The Associated Press in an interview that "it will be a disaster for Congo" if President Joseph Kabila stays on past the election that is now set for December. Kabila's mandate ran out in late 2016 but his government has repeatedly put off the vote.

Bemba says Congo has issued him a diplomatic passport as he remains a senator, and upon arrival in Kinshasa he will register as a candidate.

He says he wants Congo's opposition to rally around a single challenger to Kabila and will "give all my support" if that challenger isn't him.

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