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Former DRC Vice-President returns after war crimes conviction overruled

Jean-Pierre Bemba, the former Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, returned to the country on Wednesday after being acquitted of war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court.

Mr Bemba was initially convicted by the court in 2016, after being found guilty of crimes committed in the Central African Republic from 2002 to 2003, including failing to prevent his troops from committing murder and rape. He was arrested in Brussels in 2008 and eventually handed an 18 year sentence.

Earlier this year, the conviction was overturned on appeal, with a judge ruling that he could not be held accountable for crimes committed by his troops as the original case had failed to take into account efforts made to stop crimes.

Arriving at Kinshasa airport, Mr Bemba was greeted by crowds of supporters, with police having to fire tear gas to disperse crowds.

He has already declared his intention to run in the country’s presidential election, though current president Joseph Kabila has stated that Mr Bemba is not eligible to run.

See more from the BBC here and the Guardian here.