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DR Congo: Kabila faces test on streets as his term expires

DR Congo: Kabila faces test on streets as his term expires

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Congolese Catholic Church (CENCO) on Sunday engaged in a last effort to resolve an impasse over the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s future.

A priest of one of the churches in the capital Kinshasa called on his congregation to pray for a peaceful resolution to the deadlocked talks.

“We ask the grace of God be upon the mediators who are trying to achieve a mission which seems to be a mission impossible,” said priest Jean Ilunga.

We ask the grace of God be upon the mediators who are trying to achieve a mission which seems to be a mission impossible

On Saturday the bishops in the talks broke-off without an agreement saying they would resume on Wednesday once the Catholic bishops returned from a trip to Rome to meet the pope.

“The most pressing for us is to find a common message that can deliver peace of mind so that nothing bad happens on Monday (December 19 when Kabila’s mandate ends) and that no Congolese either in the provinces or in any of Kinshasa’s communes be killed or die because of political differences” said Azarias Ruberwa, member of the church mediators.

The DRC’s main opposition bloc said on Saturday it was not planning a march against Kabila on Monday.
Kinshasa has been tense all week and Many have been stocking up on basic food stuff, the police have also set up roadblocks.

The UN have reinforced their troops and the airport’s departure lounge on Sunday was packed with people after embassies advised their nationals not to leave.

“What we are worried about is that we don’t want any more blood on the streets of Kinshasa. Enough is enough,” said Kayenga Zizu a resident.

At least 50 people were killed when an anti-government protest turned violent in Kinshasa last September and residents fear a repeat on Monday.

Congo has not seen a peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960 .

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