Mediation talks called by Catholic bishops to resolve the political impasse in the Democratic Republic of Congo will end on Friday, the church has announced.
The bishops said the intention to put an end to the negotiations between the government and the opposition was to enable a consensual way for the management of the country during the transition period between the end of the term of President Joseph Kabila and the election of his successor.
The talks have been billed as the Democratic Republic of Congo’s last chance for a negotiated settlement following the scheduled end of Kabila’s second term.
“With or without an agreement, the bishops will close tomorrow (Friday). There will be no prolongation,” Abbé Donatien Nshole, spokesman for the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (Cenco), told the press. “The bishops have an appointment with President Kabila” on Thursday evening.
Asked by AFP about the reasons for the meeting with the Head of State, Father Nshole replied that “the President of the Republic is the one who holds the solution” by removing the remaining blockages in the talks.
The church helped broker a deal on Christmas eve that
would lead to President Kabila stepping down at the end of 2017 but the agreement is yet to be signed by all the parties.