More than two years after the Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi in Brussels has died, he is Wednesday night repatriated to Kinshasa. Thursday start the ceremonies in Kinshasa, and Saturday the funeral to follow.
Etienne Tshisekedi died on February 1, 2017 at the age of 84 in sint-genesius-rode. All that time he lay in state in a crematorium in Ixelles, but it is now at an end. A privévliegtuig leaving fri afternoon from Melsbroek, as is heard with uniform sources.
Before the plane takes off will be a military ceremony to be held, to the politician, a final tribute, in the presence of family and loved ones. Also, deputy prime minister and minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders will which ceremony to attend. Thursday morning would be the aircraft having on board the body of Tshisekedi arrive at the international airport of Kinshasa. There will son Félix the plane waiting.
Former Congolese president Joseph Kabila was reluctant to use a funeral of Tshisekedi, one of his greatest political opponents. He feared an unseen assembly of supporters of the opposition, an event that he could miss as toothache in pre-electoral times. At the beginning of this year was Tshisekedi’s son Felix, however, was declared winner of the presidential elections at the end of last year. Since Tshisekedi junior come to power, the difficult relations with Belgium gradually improved and it was possible to see the repatriation of Etienne Tshisekedi to organize.
Wednesday afternoon, there was some uncertainty whether the planned timing on the Congolese side, however, respected will be.
After the landing will be a funeral procession Thursday for the whole day Kinshasa traversing to a mortuary in the centre of the city. On the way the procession is also the home of Tshisekedi in the eastern neighbourhood of Limete pass.
Friday is the body in procession moved to the biggest stadium of the city, where 80,000 people a mass and a vigil to attend. The official ceremony and a great solemn mass to follow Saturday, in the same stadium. The archbishop of Kinshasa, will be presiding at that mass. The body is a Saturday afternoon than buried in a monument in the suburb of N’sele.
For the funeral, six African heads of state in Kinshasa, expected: these include Denis Sassou-Nguesso (Congo-Brazzaville), João Lourenço (Angola) and Paul Kagame (Rwanda). When Tshisekedi’swearing-in in January was only the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta. Also the Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron would have received an invitation for the ceremony, but none of them has been on that invitation to respond.
Luis in de pels
From the program of the ceremony also shows that Tshisekedi was appointed to be a national hero, just like ex-premier Patrice Lumumba and Laurent-Désiré Kabila.
Tshisekedi was for many years the thorn in the side of the Congolese leaders, he began his political career still on the side of ex-dictator Mobutu. In the early eighties, he founded with several followers the first opposition party against Mobutu, the Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social (UDPS). He remained the UDPS led to his death.
Over the years, he ended up a few times in the cell, but in the turbulent nineties, he was several times appointed as prime minister. Also against the father and son Kabila and went in opposition. In both 2006 and 2011 he took against Joseph Kabila, but two times he lost. After his defeat in 2011, he continued to insist that he is the legitimate president.