Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo Etienne Tshisekedi has died at the age of 84.
Tshisekedi's party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, announced he died in a hospital in Brussels.
His confidants said he had diabetes and regularly flew to Belgium to received medical checks and treatment.
The U.S. State Department released a statement regarding Tshisekedi's death, encouraging the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo to move toward the country's first democratic transfer of power.
"While this is a difficult period and a time of mourning in the DRC, it is also a moment for unity," the statement said. "We urge the Congolese people to come together and honor Tshisekedi's memory by continuing to pursue his ideals of a peaceful and democratic Congo."
Prior to his death Tshisekedi had been assisting the opposition and government in negotiating the departure of current President Joseph Kabila out of power.
Mourners gathered outside of his son's house in Kinshasa after word of his death spread and witnesses described clashes between his supporters and police.