Late Congo opposition leader’s son named as successor

Felix Tshisekedi was chosen to lead the alliance of some of the country’s largest opposition parties, which was thrown into crisis by the death of his father in Brussels last month, aged 84.

Tshisekedi led the bloc during negotiations in December that resulted in a deal obliging President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections that must happen this year.

His death sparked clashes between supporters and security forces in the capital Kinshasa, but it also left opposition to Kabila divided, which has played into his hands.

Kabila, the country’s leader since 2001, remained in power when his constitutional mandate expired on Dec. 19, sparking unrest that stoked fears of Congo sliding back into the anarchy and civil war of the turn of the century.

“It’s Felix who is the president of the movement,” Jose Endundo, a leader within the coalition, told Reuters by telephone.

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Felix Tshisekedi was chosen to lead the alliance of some of the country’s largest opposition parties, which was thrown into crisis by the death of his father in Brussels last month, aged 84.

Tshisekedi led the bloc during negotiations in December that resulted in a deal obliging President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections that must happen this year.

His death sparked clashes between supporters and security forces in the capital Kinshasa, but it also left opposition to Kabila divided, which has played into his hands.

Kabila, the country’s leader since 2001, remained in power when his constitutional mandate expired on Dec. 19, sparking unrest that stoked fears of Congo sliding back into the anarchy and civil war of the turn of the century.

“It’s Felix who is the president of the movement,” Jose Endundo, a leader within the coalition, told Reuters by telephone.

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