DRC political talks collapse as Kabila supporters pull out

2016-12-05 15:05
Joseph Kabila. (File: AFP)

Joseph Kabila. (File: AFP)

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Kinshasa – Political talks mediated by the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo have reportedly collapsed after President Joseph Kabila's supporters pulled out.

According to Voice of America, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), an influential body which represented the church in the country had been mediating talks between Kabila's supporters and the largest opposition coalition, the Rassemblement.

The talks were aimed at preventing unrest on December 19, the last day of Kabila's second term and the date on which the opposition said he should leave office.

CENCO's deputy secretary general, Abbe Donatien Nshole, had earlier indicated that the talks were reaching a deadlock.

Nshole said that the deadlock was on major issues which included the interpretation of DRC's  constitution.

He said, however, that a compromise was still possible, as the church was willing to provide assistance.

Uncontrollable situation 

Nshole also expressed concern that the country was at risk of "sinking into an uncontrollable situation" if an agreement was not reached. 

Kabila's supporters pulled out of the talks on December 2, describing them as a 'failure'.

Tensions in the DRC arose following a controversial court ruling that allowed Kabila to remain in power beyond the two consecutive presidential terms permitted by the country's constitution.

A deal reached between Kabila and a few other small opposition parties in October called for the vote to be held in April 2018. The deal was, however, rejected by the country's largest opposition party.

The opposition maintained that it wanted Kabila out and also called for a vote in 2017.

Kabila came into power after the assassination of his father in 2001 and although the constitution stated that a president could only serve for two terms, there have been consistent delays as Kabila clings onto power.

A wave of deadly protests pitting police against demonstrators hit the DRC in late September, as the opposition demanded Kabila’s resignation.

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  drc  |  central africa
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