The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is on the brink of a civil war according to French Foreign Minister Jean-Mark Ayrault.
He cites the unwillingness of the incumbent Joseph Kabila to organize elections and step down when his last term runs out in December 2016 as the main reason.
The diplomat was addressing students of international relations at Sciences-Po, a leading French university.
“The Democratic Republic of Congo is a very great country, with immense economic and human potential, but on the brink of civil war. Alongside the international community, France is playing its part for the national dialogue to take place, so that a date would be set for the elections,” he is quoted to have said.
Ayrault reiterated that France would guarantee the safety of President Kabila but adds that he should clearly indicate that he is not running in the next polls.
His comments come a week after President Francois Hollande, stated that the consitution of the DRC had to be respected and as such elections had to be organized to replace outgoing Kabila.
The DRC responded to Hollande’s call stating that they were not a territorial extension of Paris, asking the French government to stay off its affairs.