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DRC: Kabila hints of possibility of a 'third term' during meeting with UN

DRC: Kabila hints of possibility of a 'third term' during meeting with UN

Democratic Republic Of Congo

A delegation of the United Nations (UN) Security Council arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Friday to meet the government over political and security developments in the country.

They arrived on Friday evening and on Saturday morning met with Congolese Prime Minister, Augustin Matata-Ponyo.

They went on to meet the head of state Joseph Kabila and other members of the government. On the subject of the president not standing for another term in office, Kabila affirmed that the current constitution did not allow a third term but said a constitutional amendment to that effect was not illegal.

Among other things the UN implored the government to respect the rights of citizens and opponents to protest. They also stressed that it was important for the authorities to be fully aware of their responsibilities in achieving a peaceful transition in the country.

A ban on political demonstrations in Kinshasa, led the opposition coalition, the Rally, to cancel a demonstration scheduled for 5 November. The UN team also urged the Congolese authorities to re-establish the signal of the French radio station RFI, which was cut nearly a week ago.

The UN mission, which intends to help the DRC to return to the path of political stability, believes that it has “gone through all the political issues to better understand the roadmap”, said the Angolan diplomat on the team, Ismael Abraao Gaspar Martins.

Ahead of this visit, Human Rights Watch, had sent a letter to the UN body urging it to urge Joseph Kabila to withdraw at the end of his mandate (in December 2016).

The NGO also called for urgent implementation of targeted sanctions against intelligence and security officials and government officials responsible for violent repression and other serious violations of human rights.

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