The U.N. Security Council urged Congo’s government on Wednesday to swiftly implement an agreement to hold presidential elections by the end of the year, warning that failure to do so will increase the risk of insecurity and instability in the country and the region. The head of Congo’s electoral commission announced July 7 that it would not be possible to organize a presidential ballot by the Dec. 31 deadline. Congo law bars President Joseph Kabila from seeking another term but allows him to remain in power until another election can be held. A presidential statement approved by all 15 council nations insists that the deadline be kept and urges key players “to organize peaceful, credible, inclusive and timely elections” leading to a peaceful transfer of power.
It expresses concern at the slow implementation of the agreement, reached on New Year’s Eve 2016, and reiterates that full compliance with all its provisions “is critical to a credible electoral process” and peace and stability in Congo.
U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed delivered a similar message during a meeting with Kabila on Wednesday. She tweeted afterward: “Conveyed @UN support & encouragement for peaceful & inclusive elections & development process.”
Congo’s U.N. ambassador, Ignace Gata Mavita, told the Security Council on July 11 that while 33 million of the country’s 45 million expected voters have been registered in 24 provinces, registration had not yet begun in two provinces — Kasai and Kasai Central — as a result of violence.