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Cablegate: Bemba Flies to Europe to Treat Broken Leg

VZCZCXRO7600
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1871 3521126
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181126Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5319
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001871

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM CG
SUBJECT: BEMBA FLIES TO EUROPE TO TREAT BROKEN LEG

REF: KINSHASA 1856

1. (SBU) Presidential runner-up and transitional vice
president Jean-Pierre Bemba apparently broke his left leg on
December 15, necessitating his evacuation to Europe for
specialist treatment. The local media reported that Bemba
stumbled during a regular "exercise session" at his home on
December 15. Contacts within Bemba's Movement for the
Liberation of the Congo (MLC) political party corroborated
the report and Bemba's departure from the DRC on December 17.
Bemba is reported to be doing well, although his chief of
staff stated that he needed crutches. MLC contacts have been
unable or unwilling to provide details about Bemba's current
whereabouts.

2. (SBU) Comment. The accident will not have any impact on
Bemba's candidacy for a seat in the DRC's Senate. Much of
the political action in Kinshasa has already slowed while the
Supreme Court is deliberating on opposition challenges to the
National Assembly's new internal rules (reftel). Bemba's
absence will only make an already quiet period even quieter.
End comment.
DOUGHERTY

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