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Jean Pierre Bemba


Jean Pierre Bemba Gombo is a politician from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

More by user: gouaf
Created: 7th Feb 2008
Modified: 8th Jul 2008
Professional Information
Professional Areas:
DRC Parliament
Working primarily in:

Description of Work:

Biographical Information
Jean Pierre Bemba
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Nov/4/
Interests: Politics, business, legislation, armament.
  City: Faro, Portugal
Website: http://www.mlc...
Place of Origin: Congo-Kinshasa
A former rebel leader, Bemba now heads the main opposition political party in the country, the Mouvement de la Liberation du Congo (MLC), in coalition with Union pour la Nation (UN). He lived in Faro, Portugal until his arrest in May 2008.

Bemba is a very tall man from Equateur province, and a native Lingala speaker. His extended family has ties to the Mobutu galaxy.

The 'Bemba narrative' is the story of a businessman who got into politics before politics got into him. It's also the story of a rebel leader who knew that ballot boxes speak louder than guns and found the courage to listen to them.

In 2003 he became one of the DRC's vice presidents as part of a power-sharing agreement that enabled the country to reach a final resolution to its political stalemate by holding presidential elections in 2006.  Outside observers were critical of the election process but largely charecterized it as fair enough to be acceptable. 

Bemba came strong second and lost during a runoff against the current president, Joseph Kabila. Although he challenged the election results at the Supreme Court, Bemba bowed to its final judgement that swept aside his claim of invalidation.

He later ran for Senate and was elected to represent his stronghold of Kinshasa.

Although he has been named in a few shady deals (including serious charges of possible involvement in the crisis in the Central African Republic), Bemba deserves credit for his contribution to the establishment of a permanent political solution in a country that has not functioned as a state for several decades.

On May 24, 2008 Jean Pierre Bemba was arrested in Belgium on a warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for alleged atrocities during the aforementioned conflict in CAR.

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