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Congo opposition figure allegedly escapes kidnapping attempt

A top member of a Congo opposition group in South Africa says assailants attempted to kidnap him last week because he is rallying Congolese nationals against President Kabila.

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A top member of the Congo's main opposition party says he has narrowly escaped a kidnapping attempt in Johannesburg, South Africa. The incident comes three months after an attempt on the life of a Rwandan opposition figure also living in South Africa.

Michel Nsimba Bayela, deputy president for former rebel group the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), says a group of assailants attempted to kidnap him the night of Sept. 22.

“My sin here is that I have been organizing Congolese nationals living in South Africa not to vote for [current president] Joseph Kabila in the next election," Mr. Bayela said in an interview here, where he lives in exile.

“Now I have been seeing several unmarked, privately owned cars near my residence at night. Only [Sept. 22], they attempted to kidnap me, but I managed to escape through a security wall,” he says. The incident was also alleged by Jemadari Kilele, president of fellow opposition group the Congolese National Party (PNP), who is also based in Johannesburg.

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