Congo's prime minister cites fatigue, says he's resigning

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KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- Congo's 83-year-old prime minister announced Thursday he is resigning due to fatigue.

"Even if the spirit is still sane and alert, the body has its limits," Antoine Gizenga said on state TV on Thursday.

In a statement broadcast on state television, Antoine Gizenga said "even if the spirit is still sane and alert, the body has its limits and those must be taken into account."

Gizenga has been premier since being appointed by President Joseph Kabila in December 2006, charged with organizing Congo's first democratically elected government since the central African nation's independence.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, gained its independence in 1960.

Gizenga said he had submitted his resignation and was awaiting Kabila's response. There was no immediate word on a replacement.

Gizenga ran against Kabila in the country's 2006 election. An opposition member for years, he also served as a deputy to Congo's first leader, Patrice Lumumba, who was assassinated shortly after independence from Belgium.

Gizenga led a rebellion in 1964, as well as a political party and a shadow government-in-exile as the country endured decades of dictatorial rule.