AFRICA/DR CONGO - Appointment of a new Premier; the mediation of the Bishops continues

Friday, 18 November 2016 politics   bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "CENCO continues its mission with different political actors. Our desire is to see everyone join efforts to overcome the socio-political crisis in the Country", said His Exc. Mgr. Marcel Utembi Tapa, Archbishop of Kisangani and President of CENCO (Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo), after the appointment of a Prime Minister on behalf of Kabila, the opposition MP Samy Badibanga, who will lead the Country until the elections due in April 2018, under the agreement of 18 October signed by the presidential majority and the opposition (but not from "Le Rassemblement"), which participated in the national dialogue promoted by the Presidency.
CENCO was appointed to mediate in order to find an agreement between the majority of President Joseph Kabila and "Le Rassemblement", an opposition party which supports the candidacy for president of the historical opponent Etienne Tshisekedi (see Fides 17/11/2016).
"Despite the appointment of the new Prime Minister, consultations of CENCO have not stopped and are continuing. The Catholic Bishops continue to talk with the political class and hope to see 'Le Rassemblement' and the participants in the national dialogue together for new discussions", said Freddy Kita, a member of "Le Rassemblement". A member of the presidential majority, however, has stated that "the mission entrusted to Bishops by the Head of State was not intended to convene new dialogue, but to bring the positions of both sides closer".
The positions of the two sides remain distant with regards to Kabila’s abandonment of power at the end of his second presidential term on December 19.
Kabila, on the basis of a ruling by the Constitutional Court, intends to remain in office until the new President takes office, while "Le Rassemblement" continues to insist that he has to go. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 18/11/2016)