Tanzania Opposition Leader Leaves for Exile in Belgium

Tanzania Opposition Leader Leaves for Exile in Belgium

Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu left the country Tuesday to go into exile in Belgium, saying he feared for his life.

The former presidential candidate of the main opposition Chadema party, was escorted to the airport in Dar es Salaam by German embassy officials from the ambassador’s residence, where he took refuge last week. Lissu told reporters he was “not running away from the fight” and would continue the campaign for democratic rights.

President John Magufuli defeated 52-year-old Lissu in the country’s Oct. 28 election. He was briefly detained last week after calling for nationwide demonstrations against what he said was a flawed vote. Magufuli, who came to power in 2015, has faced criticism for stifling dissent and eroding civil liberties. He denies the allegations.

Lissu returned to Tanzania in July from self-imposed exile in Belgium, where he was receiving medical attention after a September 2017 attempt on his life. He had been shot 16 times by unidentified gunmen in the capital, Dodoma. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.

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