AFRICA/DR CONGO - After Kabila’s latest statements, the possibility of an agreement mediated by the Bishops diminishes

Thursday, 17 November 2016 elections   bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The agreement born from national dialogue is the only road map developed by the Congolese themselves" to get out of the political crisis. This is what the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, said in front of the National Assembly and the Senate on November 15.
According to independent commentators, the statement of the Congolese Head of State weakens the mediation, which he himself solicited, initiated by CENCO (National Congolese Episcopal Conference) which tries to reconcile the positions of the presidential majority with that of the opposition "Le Rassemblement" which supports the candidacy for President of the historical opponent Etienne Tshisekedi.
The agreement to which Kabila referred to is that reached on October 18 between the presidential majority and the opposition party that joined "national dialogue" aimed at deciding on a date for the presidential and parliamentary elections which were to take place before the end 2016 (see Fides 18/10/2016).
The Bishops had decided to suspend their participation in the "national" dialogue "to seek broader consensus" (see Fides 21/09/2016), but later Kabila had entrusted them with the task of mediating with "Le Rassemblement" to find an agreement that would reconcile all the different positions. The points on which so far an agreement has not been found regards to allow Kabila to govern after the expiry of his term, at midnight on 19 December, and the explicit commitment on his behalf not to try to get a third term in violation of the Constitution. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 17/11/2016)