Africa

Party: Congolese opposition leader Tshisekedi dies at 84

FILE - In this file photo taken on, Wednesday, July 31, 2016, Congo opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi speak during a political rally in Kinshasa, Congo. Congo's opposition icon Etienne Tshisekedi, who pushed for democratic reforms for decades in this vast Central African nation and once declared himself president after saying the election was rigged by the incumbent, has died, his political party said late Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/John Bompengo,File)

FILE - In this file photo taken on, Wednesday, July 31, 2016, Congo opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi speak during a political rally in Kinshasa, Congo. Congo's opposition icon Etienne Tshisekedi, who pushed for democratic reforms for decades in this vast Central African nation and once declared himself president after saying the election was rigged by the incumbent, has died, his political party said late Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/John Bompengo,File)  (The Associated Press)

The political party of Etienne Tshisekedi says the Congolese opposition icon has died. He was 84.

Tshisekedi had sought medical treatment in Belgium late last month, and has long battled rumors of ill health. He had returned to Congo in late July after several years abroad.

The Union for Democracy and Social Progress said late Wednesday that its leader had died at Sainte Elisabeth Hospital in Brussels. The cause of death was not given.

His death comes at a politically fragile moment for the vast Central African nation, where the opposition protested for months to get President Joseph Kabila to agree to step down.

The parties signed a deal, but it has yet to be implemented. The stalemate already has worried observers.