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DR Congo political players end deadlock

DR Congo political players end deadlock

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Mediators have reached an agreement to end the political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a deadlock threatened the talks, the mediation team and the country’s justice minister have said.

The agreement will among other proposals see the organization of a presidential election at the end of 2017.

“We have succeeded in completing the agreement, everything is settled, we return to sign the agreement at 20:00” (1900 GMT), Congolese Minister of Justice Alexis Thambwe Mwamba told AFP.

“We have just concluded and the agreement is there, we have reached an agreement on all the points,” added Marcel Utembi, the president of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (Cenco).

Bishop Utembi said a “formal adoption” of the agreement would take place at 20:00 and an “official ceremony” of signature at 20:30 (19:30 GMT).

For his part, an adviser to Étienne Tshisekedi, a historic opponent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and leader of the “Rassemblement” (coalition which includes most of the opposition formed around Mr. Tshisekedi), Valentin Mubake, also confirmed the news to AFP.

The opposition representative however maintained that he will report first to Mr. Tshisekedi before signing the agreement.

“As far as I am concerned, I will report to my principal Mr. Tshisekedi (…) We want to have a clear heart on what would have been negotiated at the top with our principal and then we sign at 8 pm,” Mubake explained.

The political crisis has been occasioned by the failure of President Joseph Kabila to leave his post following the expiry of his mandate on December 20.

A deal struck on Christmas eve agreed that Kabila will appoint a prime minister from the country’s main opposition bloc to oversee the transition before the next elections.

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