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Rebel Chief Escapes in DR Congo Prison Break

Rebels from an outlawed political-religious group attacked Kinshasa’s central prison on Wednesday, breaking out their leader and about 50 other prisoners, the Congolese government said.

“Followers of the Bundu Dia Kongo (BDK) attacked Makala prison at dawn and broke out around 50 prisoners including their guru, Ne Muanda Nsemi,” government spokesman Lambert Mende said, indicating that police had given chase.

A lawmaker, Nsemi is the spiritual leader of a movement which has called for an insurrection against Kinshasa.

The government has accused BDK followers of a string of violent attacks in western DR Congo since the start of the year.

Nsemi was arrested in early March following a violent two-week siege of his home in Kinshasa, DR Congo’s capital.

His three wives and son were also detained.

BDK stands for “Kingdom of the Kongo” in the Kikongo language, and its members want to restore an African monarchy that once included what is today Kongo Central (formerly Bas-Congo) along with parts of Angola, the Republic of Congo and Gabon.

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