The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday welcomed a political agreement in Congo calling for President Joseph Kabila to leave power after an election by the end of the year and urged “swift implementation.” The council said in a presidential statement that it was encouraged “by the spirit of flexibility and compromise demonstrated by Congolese political leaders” in reaching the agreement. Council members stressed the importance of the government and its partners taking “all necessary steps to accelerate preparations for the elections without further delays, within the timeframe.”
Kabila, who became president in 2001 after his father’s assassination, was constitutionally barred from seeking a new term after his term expired Dec. 19, 2016. But November elections were never held and a court ruled he could stay in power until a vote is held. His party said voting wasn’t possible before mid-2018 for logistical reasons.
The agreement to move up the election date was reached on New Year’s Eve with mediation by Roman Catholic Church officials, following months of unrest sparked by Kabila’s apparent attempt to stay in power. Dozens of people have died and the clashes threatened to further destabilize the vast Central African nation with a history of dictatorship and civil war.
Full Article: UN Welcomes Congo Agreement, Urges Swift Implementation.