News / Africa

DRC Opposition Leader Calls for Kabila's Seizure

Young men suspected of being militant supporters of opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi are forced into a police truck as they are arrested near opposition party headquarters in the Limete district of Kinshasa, Congo, December 12, 2011.
Young men suspected of being militant supporters of opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi are forced into a police truck as they are arrested near opposition party headquarters in the Limete district of Kinshasa, Congo, December 12, 2011.

Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi says he is the country's rightful leader and has called for the seizure of President Joseph Kabila.

Election officials say Mr. Kabila easily won last month's presidential poll in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But Mr. Tshisekedi has rejected the results as fraudulent and declared himself president, saying he will take office on Friday.

The opposition leader told reporters in Kinshasa on Sunday that he has dismissed Mr. Kabila's government and that the president should be apprehended.

"Regarding those who have created all those problems, starting with Mr Kabila, I call on all of you to look for this man [Kabila] wherever he is in the country and bring him here alive.''

Mr. Tshisedeki said President Kabila should be brought to him "tied up", and he promised whoever does so will  receive receive a "great prize."

A top official with President Kabila's party, Aubin Minaku, called the opposition leader's actions a "big joke."  Minaku accused Mr. Tshisekedi of trying to orchestrate a rebellion against a legitimate government.

President Kabila has said there is no question his re-election was legitimate, and he has suggested that Mr. Tshisekedi use the appeals system to challenge the results.

International election observers reported numerous irregularities during the November 28 vote and the counting process.

The United States has said the election was "seriously flawed" although it was not clear if the problems were enough to change the outcome of the vote.

The presidential and legislative polls were only the second free elections in Congo since the nation was torn apart by several years of warfare that ended in 2003.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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