One of the Democratic Republic of Congo's key opposition leaders has left the country, ending three weeks of living under the protection of the South African embasssy in Kinshasa.
According to one witness, Jean-Pierre Bemba boarded a private jet bound for Portugal on Wednesday, where he is due to have medical treatment.
A convoy of around 15 armoured vehicles belonging to the United Nations' peacekeeping mission in Congo (Monuc) took Bemba to the airport in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Tanks and blue-helmeted riot police stood guard at the N'Djili airport outside the city, but there were no crowds or violence. The only people present were a small group of reporters.
Kemal Saiki, spokesman for the UN mission, said in a statement: "Upon the request of Congolese authorities and following authorisation to leave national territory ... Monuc assisted in [Bemba's] departure."
Bemba, who led a Ugandan-backed rebellion against the Kinshasa government in Congo's 1998-2003 war, lost a presidential run-off in October to incumbent Joseph Kabila in the vast, mineral-rich central African state's first free polls in more than 40 years.