Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fighting erupts in DR Congo capital

Months after the Democratic Republic of the Congo's historic first democratic elections, there's been running battles in the capital Kinshasa. The government issued an arrest warrant against Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former militia leader and losing candidate in the presidential elections. Bemba, who is also a senator, is being accused of treason "in using the armed forces for his own ends," according to a Congolese government spokesman. Bemba denied wanting to overthrow incumbent president Joseph Kabila.

There were two days of heavy gun battles between government troops and militiamen loyal to Bemba. But the UN mission in the country, MONUC, reports that calm has returned to Kinshasa and that Bemba had taken refuge in the South African embassy.

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