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Vol 57 No 15

Published 22nd July 2016


A gathering storm

President Kabila faces a stronger opposition but it may struggle to stay united  

There have long been heavyweights in the ranks of Congo-Kinshasa's opposition, most enduringly Etienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba and more recently Moïse Katumbi Chapwe. Yet relations between the various parties and platforms have typically been fractious and disjointed. So, the events of 8 and 9 June represented a major step forward. The 83-year-old Tshisekedi, a mainstay of opposition politics since 1980, invited the leaders of all the main parties and factions opposing President Joseph Kabila to a conference at a luxury hotel on the banks of Lake Genval, 20 minutes from Brussels. The outcome was a new platform called Le Rassemblement (gathering, rally), of which Tshisekedi was anointed President. The Rassemblement intends to preserve the constitutional status quo and ensure that Kabila steps down at the end of his mandate on 19 December.

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