Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Moise Katumbi is closer to finding his name on the ballot after the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled in his favour in a protest over that country’s decision to prevent him from returning home.
Katumbi was twice barred from returning to his country four weeks ago. He had attempted to travel by road through Zambia to the Kasumbalesa border post after his landing permit at Luano airport in Lubumbashi was denied.
The decision by Congolese authorities to block Katumbi from entering the country prevented him from filing his presidential nomination that closed on August 8.
And now the United Nations Human Rights Committee has ruled that the popular opposition be allowed to return to the Congo and that authorities in that country should guarantee his security and participation in the general election.
Katumbi’s lawyer in France, Eric Dupond-Moretti, had submitted a protest to the UN Human Rights Committee.
According to the resolution by the UN, the committee resolved to grant the protest insisting that DRC authorities should now process necessary logistics for Katumbi’s return.
The legal team made demands that he should allowed to return and accorded “security protection”. It adds that he should not be held in “detention”, all demands that the UN Human Rights Committee has granted.
As well as allegations of training mercenaries, Katumbi has been accused of being an Italian national and was sentenced to three years in absentia over a real estate case.
The Congolese government has proceeded to place Katumbi on an international arrest warrant. He denies any wrong doing.
DRC will hold presidential elections on December 23, 2018. These will be the first in seven years after incumbent President Joseph Kabila prolonged his stay in power by two years as he allegedly attempted to seek a third term.
The deadline for nominations has since closed but Katumbi and six other opposition leaders have mounted a legal challenge.
Six opposition leaders including former vice-president Jean Pierre Bemba have petitioned the country’s Constitutional Court after they were disqualified from standing in the December 23 polls.