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Veteran DRC opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi dies in Belgium hospital

Photo credit: bbc

An opposition veteran in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Etienne Tshisekedi has died in Belgium hospital, aged 84, BBC says.

He went for medical checks last week, and his supporters have gathered in the capital, Kinshasa, to express their shock at his death.

Etienne Tshisekedi was prominent for constituting strong opposition against successive leaders in the DRC.

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

The information minister said he would be given a state funeral.

Mr Tshisekedi returned to Kinshasa last July to a hero’s welcome after two years in Brussels for medical treatment.

Correspondents say his death comes at a sensitive time for DR Congo. There were fierce clashes last year when it was announced that President Kabila would stay in power until April 2018.