The MLC party of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday finally agreed to sign a peace deal sponsored by the country’s catholic church, to end the ongoing political standoff.
The Congolese Liberation Movement’s signature comes 14 days after the agreement on Decmeber 31, which the party had initially refused to sign. Other members of the government, including newly-appointed Prime Minister Samy Badibanga, from the opposition, are yet to sign it.
MLC is the party of former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba, who’s currently at the detained at The Hague.
The deal which is yet to be ratified by President Kabila will lead to elections later this year, instead of April 2018 as earlier communicated by the electoral body. It also stipulates that president Kabila is unable to amend the constitution in order to seek a third term. A new PM is also expected to be named from the opposition.
Pressure had been mounting for opposition parties and the government to agree a deal aimed at stemming the violence that followed Kabila’s refusal to relinquish the presidency despite the expiration of his mandate on December 19.