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Congo inaugurates Felix Tshisekedi as new president in first-ever peaceful handover

January 24, 2019

Felix Tshisekedi has been sworn in as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the country’s first peaceful handover of power.

Mr Tshisekedi took the oath of office before receiving the national flag and a copy of the constitution from outgoing president Joseph Kabila.

Mr Kabila is stepping aside after 18 years at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country.

Saddam Kongolo, a member of Mr Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) said: “We hope that this will be a real change, especially as he has taken power without bloodshed.”

One of the new president’s first tasks will be to appoint a prime minister in a move which will see him sharing power with Kabila’s supporters, who hold an overwhelming majority in parliament.

The ceremony ends more than two years of turmoil sparked by Mr Kabila’s refusal to step down when he reached the constitutional limit on his term in office.

Mr Tshisekedi took over the UDPS, Congo’s oldest and largest opposition party from his father Etienne following his death almost two years ago.

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