Congo Turns Away Plane Carrying Opposition Leader Katumbi

Democratic Republic of Congo authorities refused to clear a plane carrying presidential hopeful Moise Katumbi to land in the central African nation amid campaigns for national elections.

“I wanted to return to my country and participate, despite threats of arrest made against me by the Minister of Justice,” Katumbi said in an e-mailed statement.

The Central African country has never had a democratic transfer of power. Kabila became president in 2001 following the assassination of his father, former President Laurent-Desire Kabila. He won elections in 2006 and 2011 but is prevented from running for a third term by the country’s constitution, and is required to call an election 90 days before the end of his second mandate on December 19.

Etienne Tshisekedi, 83, another opposition leader, returned to Congo on July 27 for the first time in over two years to be greeted by tens of thousands of supporters. During a rally on Sunday in the capital, Kinshasa, he called on President Joseph Kabila to step down.