DRC: Peace negotiations to resume December 30

The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO)

Political negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo after Joseph Kabila’s refusal to leave office have been suspended to observe a 4-day Christmas break.

Discussions will resume on Thursday as the National Episcopal Conference of Congo hopes an agreement will be reached a day after the resumption on December 30.

Bishop Utembi who is the chairman of the mediation committee said the divergence on the consensual management of the transition period has been flattened to 95%. He said, “We arrived at the end of the tunnel.”

The opposition and government had not reached an agreement by Saturday when the talks were suspended for Christmas.

Kabila was required by constitutional term limits to step down when his second mandate came to an end on December 19, but a constitutional court ruled that he can stay on until a new successor is elected.

Elections have been postponed to April 2018 after the electoral commission complained of inadequate resources to conduct the process.

The opposition accuses Kabila of manipulating the system to cling on to power, while a faction of the opposition has agreed and through a national dialogue, got one of its members appointed Prime Minister until the election.

 

Zainab Sa’id