Etienne Tshisekedi to be buried in DR Congo



Pallbearers carry the casket with the remains of Etienne Tshisekedi, former Congolese opposition figurehead who died in Belgium two years ago, at a mourning ceremony at the Martyrs of Pentecost Stadium in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo May 31, 2019.Picture copyright
Reuters

Two years after his loss of life in Belgium, a state funeral is being held for veteran opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi within the Democratic Republic of Congo.

His physique was solely flown dwelling on Thursday following a row between his household and the previous authorities.

The impasse ended when his son, Félix, grew to become president final yr.

On Friday, tens of 1000’s of individuals, together with the presidents of Rwanda and Angola, paid their respects within the Martyrs’ Stadium within the capital, Kinshasa.

Analysts say the presence of Rwandan President Paul Kagame was vital, following years of battle and enmity between his nation and DR Congo.

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame pays his respectsPicture copyright
Reuters

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May the presence of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame sign a brand new begin in relations with DR Congo?

The casket with the remains of Etienne Tshisekedi, former Congolese opposition figurehead who died in Belgium two years ago, is seen on a podium during a mourning ceremony at the Martyrs of Pentecost Stadium in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo May 31, 2019.Picture copyright
Reuters

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For his supporters, the funeral in Kinshasa represents a victory over the previous authorities

The casket containing Etienne Tshisekedi’s physique remained within the stadium in a single day.

On Saturday, Archbishop of Kinshasa Fridolin Ambongo will preside over a funeral mass in the identical venue, with many 1000’s extra anticipated.

The nation’s influential Catholic church has urged all its members to go to the stadium.

Though tens of 1000’s attended the mendacity in state on Friday, solely these with official invites had been purported to be allowed in and lots of extra had been denied entry, stories the BBC’s Gaius Kowene in Kinshasa.

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Supporters of former DR Congo Prime Minister and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi sing and dance ahead of his mourning ceremony.Picture copyright
AFP

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Supporters of the veteran opposition chief turned out of their 1000’s

Tshisekedi supportersPicture copyright
AFP

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Solely these with official invites had been allowed into the stadium

Flower arrangements are displayed for sale during the mourning ceremony of late former DR Congo Prime Minister and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi in Kinshasa, on May 31, 2019.Picture copyright
AFP

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Flowers had been on sale outdoors

Government forces escort a hearse carrying the coffin of former DR Congo Prime Minister and opposition leader Etienne TshisekedPicture copyright
AFP

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The previous opposition chief is being given a state funeral

After the ceremony, Etienne Tshisekedi can be buried at his non-public N’sele residence, some 40km (25 miles) east of central Kinshasa.

He died aged 84 in Brussels and his physique was saved in a funeral parlour till it might be returned dwelling.

On Friday afternoon, the Martyrs’ Stadium in Kinshasa erupted in cheers because the casket containing Tshisekedi’s stays entered, our reporter says.

His supporters screamed and blew whistles within the 80,000-capacity area.

A banner dedicated to Etienne Tshisekedi, former Congolese opposition figurehead who died in Belgium two years ago, is seen hanging above supporters during a mourning ceremony at the Martyrs of Pentecost Stadium in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo May 31, 2019Picture copyright
AFP

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Etienne Tshisekedi had a troubled relationship with former chief Mobutu Sese Seko

The marketing campaign to bury Tshisekedi’s stays in his dwelling nation confronted obstacles from President Félix Tshisekedi’s predecessor, Joseph Kabila.

For his supporters, Tshisekedi coming dwelling represents a victory over the previous authorities, our correspondent says.

A lifetime of opposition

Tshisekedi spent many years in politics however failed in a number of makes an attempt to develop into president.

He served as inside minister underneath the nation’s authoritarian chief Mobutu Sese Seko, earlier than becoming a member of the political opposition.

After serving time in jail, he based the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) in 1982 and was appointed prime minister by Mobutu, although the 2 regularly clashed.

In 1997, Mobutu was ousted as chief in a rise up led by Joseph Kabila’s father, Laurent.

Tshisekedi grew to become an opponent of the brand new regime, and of Joseph Kabila after Laurent Kabila was assassinated in 2001.

Democratic Republic of Congo's Felix Tshisekedi swears into office during an inauguration ceremony as the new presidentPicture copyright
Reuters

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Tshisekedi’s son Félix received a bitterly contested election final yr

He boycotted DR Congo’s elections in 2006, alleging vote fraud, and was overwhelmed in a 2011 race marked by allegations of widespread voting irregularities.

Félix Tshisekedi received a bitterly contested election final yr. It marked the primary peaceable transition of energy since DR Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Nevertheless, a number of observer teams imagine that one other opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, was the rightful winner.

Since coming to energy, President Tshisekedi has agreed to work with the occasion of former President Joseph Kabila.

All footage topic to copyright

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