Congolese opposition politician Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko has disappeared in Ankara after flying to the Turkish capital for health treatment in late July.
The 73-year-old Mokoko, a former military general, was behind bars in Congo serving a 20-year sentence for “violating state security” after he ran in the 2016 election against President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
After becoming ill, Mokoko was hospitalized in a military prison in the Congo capital of Brazzaville on June 29, and was then authorized to fly to Ankara for additional treatment a month later. He boarded a plane belonging to Qatar and landed at Ankara’s Esenboğa airport on July 30, and has not been heard from since, according to reports.
Marco Kissa, coordinator of the Congolese opposition Sassoufit Collective called on the governments of Turkey and Congo to provide information on the whereabouts and health status of Mokoko, recalling that the UN emphasized that the arbitrary arrest of Mokoko was illegal.
After serving as a presidential advisor for twelve years, Mokoko resigned from his position and ran against Nguesso in 2016 in protest of the president’s constitutional changes that were made months before the election, enabling Nguesso to run for another term.