The French chapter of the DR Congo's opposition party, Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) of former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba, is threatened by a crisis over which of two factions is the legitimate representatives of the party in the European country.
PANA reported that the current president of MLC France, Emmanuel Ikabanga, is being challenged by another wing of the chapter, led by Thierry Mongita, who claimed to be the only one to have received the mandate from Bemba to represent him in France.
Bemba is currently imprisoned at the International Criminal Court’s prison in Scheveningen Netherlands.
'The problem is that activists no longer know which way to turn. Each wing carries out its activities, convenes meetings at Chateau Rouge [a district of Paris] or Ivry, near Paris. It is total confusion,' lamented Desire N'Gumbu, MLC France’s activist.
The rivalry between the two wings of the chapter stemmed from the use of the party’s name and emblem as well as the control of the new headquarters acquired by the party in 2011 in Ivry, near the French capital.
According to a source close to the chapter, the rivalry between the wings will shortly be brought before the French courts.
'The crisis of MLC France dates back more than two years. Despite repeated calls by the national party leadership in Kinshasa, a decision is yet to be taken. It seems to me that the French courts will soon deal with the case. I can confirm that the two wings are about to bring the matter before the French courts,' an official of MLC France told PANA on the condition of anonymity.
Since the party’s founding president was imprisoned in 2008 ,the MLC has lost ground on the DR Congo’s political scene and some of its high-ranking officials have left.