Africa

Congo opposition figure sentenced to 5 years in prison

Authorities in Congo say a key opposition figure has been sentenced to five years in prison amid heightened political tensions in this Central African nation.

A court found Franck Diongo guilty of arbitrary arrest and aggravated illegal detention. Authorities accused him of holding members of the presidential guard at his residence earlier this month and said Diongo's supporters beat them.

Georges Kapiamba, president of Access to Justice, said Wednesday's sentencing comes after "an unjust trial."

Also Wednesday, 15 people were sentenced to three years in prison in Lubumbashi after demonstrating against President Joseph Kabila earlier this month.

The opposition says delayed elections should be held as soon as possible and Kabila should step down after his mandate expired last week. Negotiations toward a possible solution to the crisis continue.