Christian sect members attack Congo prison, free leader

  • Christian sect members attack Congo prison, free leader

Christian sect members attack Congo prison, free leader

Rebels from an outlawed political-religious group attacked Kinshasa's central prison on May 17, 2017, breaking out their leader and about 50 other prisoners, the Congolese government said.

Justice minister Alexis Thambwe told a local radio station that, aside from Nsemi, the prison's most prominent prisoners, including political opposition leaders and soldiers convicted in the assassination of former president Laurent Kabila, had not escaped.

Ne Muanda Nsemi, the self-styled Congolese prophet and leader of the Bundu dia Kongo movement whose supporters led the attack, remains at large, Mpayi said.Bundu dia Kongo representatives have denied responsibility for the attack.

Ten of the escaped prisoners were quickly "recaptured", said Vuemba who criticised the inmates' living conditions as deplorable.

The sources say that around half of the prison's inmates fled during the attack.

Nsemi was a member of parliament before his arrest in March following deadly clashes between security forces and his followers. The government spokesman previously said that one police officer and five assailants had died.Conflicts in Congo between 1996-2003, mostly in the east, caused the deaths of millions of people, mainly from hunger and disease.

Bundu Dia Kongo is campaigning to restore a monarchy in parts of DR Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Angola and Gabon.

Shots were fired and vehicles torched as Ne Muanda Nsemi was freed from the jail in Kinshasa, witnesses said.

There was no immediate suggestion the two jail breaks were related.

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