>> Returning home after ten years in prison in the Hague, Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader and former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba stepped off a private jet in the capital Kinshasa on Wednesday where he was greeted by thousands of cheering supporters.
tnesses say police fired tear gas as they tried to clear the road.
Bemba's war crimes convictions were quashed on appeal in May, and he confirmed last month his plan to run for president in December's election. The former Vice President, who narrowly lost to incumbent Joseph Kabila in 2006, is expected to have a real chance at victory. However, Bemba's eligibility to run could be challenged by the courts.
Convictions for murder, rape and pillage committed by his militia in the neighboring Central African Republic in 2002 were thrown out in the Hague. But he was still convicted on a witness tampering charge that he's appealing. The ruling coalition said last week Bemba is disqualified from running for office, a move which would infuriate his supporters.
> His return is expected to energize opposition to Kabila, who's barred by constitutional term limits from standing again. Kabila's refused to say publicly whether he'll honor those limits, keeping the country in suspense over whether he'll choose someone else to represent his ruling coalition, paving the way for Congo's first democratic transition, or try to run again and risk a violent backlash.