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DRC: Bishops urge for a peaceful deal by Christmas to avert crisis

DRC: Bishops urge for a peaceful deal by Christmas to avert crisis

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Roman Catholic church has issued a strong plea to DR Congo’s political leaders to strike a deal by Christmas to stem an explosive crisis over the fate of President Joseph Kabila.

The call by bishops sponsoring key talks between the opposition and the ruling party came a day after deadly protests erupted over Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his mandate on Tuesday.

His second and final term ran out with no election near by and no sign that he plans to leave power any time soon.

Our wish is to end before Christmas, If the political and civil society actors do not reach a compromise by then,CENCO will draw the consequences.

According to a UN provisional toll, 19 people were killed and 45 injured in violence across the country on Tuesday.
But government put the death toll at 11.

Tension remained high on Wednesday, with activity resuming slowly in Kinshasa, a megacity of 10 million people, troops and police have been posted at major crossroads.

“Our wish is to end before Christmas, If the political and civil society actors do not reach a compromise by then,CENCO will draw the consequences,” said CENCO chairman Monsignor Marcel Utembi.

Gunfire rang out across the vast and troubled nation as the protests erupted on Tuesday.

So far the mainstream opposition has called for “peaceful resistance” from the country’s 70 million people, pinning its hopes on a deal at the negotiating table.

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