Congo says it will give Bemba diplomatic passport to return

June 23, 2018 - 6:16 am

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo's government says it will give former Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba, recently acquitted on appeal at the International Criminal Court of war crimes, a diplomatic passport to allow him to return to the country.

A letter from Congo's foreign affairs minister to the Senate speaker asks him to tell Bemba's protocol officer to submit an application to Congo's embassy in Brussels. A copy of the letter was seen by The Associated Press.

Bemba remains a senator in Congo, and the general secretary of his Movement for the Liberation of Congo opposition party has said he should participate in the party congress early next month.

Bemba's return likely would shake up Congo's political landscape as the long-delayed presidential election approaches in December.

He awaits a final ICC sentencing in another case.

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