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After 20 years in detention, DR Congo frees 24 accused of killing ex-President Kabila


In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 24 prisoners who were accused of being behind the assassination of former President Laurent Kabila have been released after spending nearly two decades behind bars.Rights groups were extremely critical of the military trial that led to the convictions. Their release follows a pardon by President Felix Tshisekedi.
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There were scenes of celebration as the 24 men were released from prison in the capital, Kinshasa.Many Congolese believe they were not complicit in the death of Kabila but were scapegoats for the 2001 assassination.Amongst those now free is Eddy Kapend the former army chief of staff. Kabila was succeeded as president by his son.
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President Joseph Kabila repeatedly resisted calls to pardon the prisoners – eleven of whom died whilst in custody.A decision by President Tshisekedi to free them is controversial.For two years Mr Tshisekedi was in a coalition with Joseph Kabila. But a deep rift has developed between DR Congo’s two most powerful politicians.