Christian sect storms Prison, frees Leader and 50 others

by on May 18, 2017

Gunmen from a Christian sect have stormed a prison in the Democrat­ic Republic of Congo’s capital, free­ing their leader and about 50 other inmates, a government spokesman says.

Shots were fired and vehicles torched as Ne Muanda Nsemi was freed from the jail in Kinshasa, witnesses said.

Police are suspected to have shot dead several prisoners, witnesses added.

Mr Nsemi is a self-styled prophet and the leader of an outlawed group seeking to re­vive the ancient Kongo kingdom.

He was arrested, along with his three wives and son, in March following clashes between his supporters and police.

Mr Nsemi leads the Bundu dia Kongo movement, which is campaigning to restore a monarchy in parts of DR Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Angola and Gabon.

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He was an MP when he was arrested in Kinshasa after police accused him of incit­ing violence.

“Followers of the Bundu Dia Kongo at­tacked Makala prison at dawn and broke out around 50 prisoners including their guru, Ne Muanda Nsemi,” government spokesman Lambert Mende said, AFP news agency reports.

A major operation is underway in Kin­shasa to recapture the prisoners, reports the BBC’s Mbelechi Msoshi from the city.

He saw Red Cross officials loading the bodies of several prisoners into vehicles and and transporting them to the morgue.

In January 2016, every prisoner except one escaped from a jail in eastern DR Con­go. They included murder and rape con­victs.

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