DRC:Bemba might not run for the president sit-MLC top official

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By Josephine Lukoya

Jean Pierre Bemba at the Hegue

The secretary general of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), Thomas Luhaka, said Thursday, Sept. 8, it would be difficult for the president of the party, Jean-Pierre Bemba, to run for the presidential election of November 2011 in the DRC, despite its designation by the party.

Jean-Pierre Bemba is held in The Hague since 2008. The ICC sued for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the military in Central MLC between October 2002 and March 2003.


According to Thomas Luhaka, the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not give the president the provisional release of the MLC and the Congolese government has not committed to the safety of Jean-Pierre Bemba in the DRC if he returned.

“Three days before the deadline for applications, the situation we are concerned. It is difficult for us to present our national president in the election of 2011, “said Thomas Luhaka.

“We hope QUELA ICC would issue a ruling in our favor,” he said, adding that “even if the court allowed the provisional release of Jean-Pierre Bemba of the Congolese government security guarantees would be required to return the country.”

Thomas Luhaka said that the MLC has written three times in the Interior Ministry to demand security guarantees for Jean-Pierre Bemba comes to apply for them.

“Until today the government has never responded,” he said.

Jean-Pierre Bemba was arrested in a residence on the outskirts of Brussels on 24 May 2008 following a warrant issued by the ICC. He is imprisoned at the detention center in Scheveningen at The Hague in July 2008. Jean-Pierre Bemba was charged with sexual crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the incursions of its MLC troops in Central Africa between October 25, 2002 March 15, 2003.

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