DRC: Franck Diongo obtains political asylum in Belgium and files a complaint against General Ndaywell for torture

DRC: Franck Diongo obtains political asylum in Belgium and files a complaint against General Ndaywell for torture

The presidential candidate for December 2023 was tortured by military intelligence.

Franck Diongo, president of the Lumumbiste Progressive Movement (MLP) has been a prominent figure on the political scene in the Democratic Republic of Congo for several decades. The politician who was one of the fighting companions of Étienne Tshisekedi, the father of the current Congolese head of state, experienced Congolese jails under the successive regimes of Mobutu, Kabila father and son and, today, of Félix Tshisekedi for his uncompromising political positions.

DRC: opponent Franck Diongo, of the Progressive Lumumbist Movement (MLP) party arrested

Unceremoniously arrested on June 20, 2023, while returning from mourning during which he had notably spoken with President Félix Tshisekedi, Franck Diongo was detained for 20 days in the buildings of the ex-Demiap, the Congolese military intelligence services, a service headed by General Christian Ndaywell, a man of Belgian nationality already accused of his supposed role in the assassination of another opponent, Chérubin Okende, former Minister of Transport and spokesperson for the party Together for the Republic of Moïse Katumbi. An assassination, which occurred on the night of July 12 to 13, 2023, reclassified to everyone’s surprise as a “suicide”, by the Prosecutor General at the Court of Cassation Firmin Mvonde. However, the magistrate was the first, quickly after the discovery of the body, to speak of an assassination.


During this detention, Franck Diongo explains that he was the victim of acts of torture, he claims that his jailers injected him with unknown substances, which he fears were intended to poison him, and forced him to consume drugs. “drinks” against his will. After being released, Franck Diongo, presidential candidate in December 2023, before joining the candidacy of Moïse Katumbi, was the subject of an appearance warrant. Fearing for his life, the opponent headed for Belgium where he filed an asylum application. After being heard by experts from the General Commission for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRA), Franck Diongo was recognized as a political refugee in Belgium at the beginning of May 2024.

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Filing complaint

Today, Franck Diongo, represented by lawyer Alexis Deswaef, filed a complaint with the federal prosecutor’s office for war crimes, torture and poisoning against the boss of the ex-Demiap General Christian Ndaywell and against person whose responsibility will be demonstrated during the investigation”, explains Maître Deswaef who continues in his complaint: “all the elements, which precisely point to the responsibility of military intelligence and its leader, General Christian Ndaywell, in the kidnapping, arbitrary detention and torture of Mr. Diongo, justify the filing of this complaint against Mr. Ndaywell who can be prosecuted before the Belgian courts given his Belgian nationality”.

It will be remembered that a previous complaint in Belgium had already been filed against General Ndaywell by the family of cherub Okende.

These complaints before the Belgian courts, the flight of more and more opponents threatened by the power of President Tshisekedi demonstrate once again the dictatorial overtones of this regime, yet still very much in court here.