Congo’s Katumbi Hospitalized After Police Fire Gas at Opposition

Democratic Republic of Congo presidential aspirant, Moises Katumbi, received hospital treatment on Friday after police fired tear gas as he arrived with supporters for a court appearance in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi.

Katumbi “was hospitalized with breathing difficulties having inhaled tear gas as police tried to break up crowds that had gathered at the courthouse,” his lawyer Jacques Bakambe Shesha said by phone. Katumbi’s brother also was treated after being hit on the head by a rock, he said.

Friday’s hearing was the third this week for Katumbi, who has been accused by the government of using mercenaries. Katumbi, the former governor of copper-rich Katanga province who announced his presidential bid last week, has denied the allegations.

Critics of Congolese President Joseph Kabila accuse him of delaying preparations for elections slated for November so that he can stay in power. Kabila is barred by the constitution from running again but has yet to confirm he’ll step down.

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