Africa

DR Congo opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi dies aged 84

Etienne Tshisekedi Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Tshisekedi was a prominent opponent of successive Congolese leaders

DR Congo's main opposition leader has died in Brussels aged 84, reports say.

Etienne Tshisekedi, one of the country's most important advocates of democracy, was a prominent opponent of successive Congolese leaders.

The party he helped found in 1982, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party (UDPS), said he had travelled to Belgium last week for medical checks.

He was due to head a transitional council under a deal for President Joseph Kabila to step down this year.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Mr Tshisekedi (C) remained popular and could draw huge crowds

Mr Tshisekedi served as a minister under autocratic ruler Mobutu Sese Seko in the country then known as Zaire before helping to set up the UDPS.

During the 1990s he was named prime minister four times but did not remain in the position after clashing with Mobutu, who was eventually forced out in 1997.

His activism meant he remained popular but in recent years he had been suffering ill health.

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