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DRC’s Felix Tshisekedi seeks treatment in Belgium

FILE PHOTO: Felix Tshisekedi, leader of Congolese main opposition party the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS)and Presidential candidate, attends an election event in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, December 21, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, has been in Belgium since last weekend for health reasons, his office says.

“The President is currently in Belgium for treatment of a herniated disc. The Head of State took the opportunity to carry out his annual medical check-up, and he is doing well.

“After a few days of rest with his family and private visits, the President will return to Kinshasa very soon,” the presidency announced.

The announcement comes after several Belgian media outlets claimed that Mr Tshisekedi had undergone heart surgery, while others claimed he left Kinshasa on Saturday “in a critical health condition”.

To reassure the Congolese citizens and dispel speculations that the President was gravely ill, the office has published photos of the head of state, smiling alongside his doctors.