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DR Congo's Catholic church says stalled political deal risks failing

DR Congo's Catholic church says stalled political deal risks failing

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Catholic church has warned that the deal struck last month risks falling apart, if politicians do not quickly reach compromises on implementing the accord.

The December 31st deal was seen as a critical step toward averting a slide into anarchy and possibly civil war in the country. It followed President Joseph Kabila’s decision to remain in power when his mandate expired last month.

The accord, signed by Kabila’s representatives and the main opposition bloc, bars Kabila from trying to change the constitution to stand for a third term in an election to be held by the end of this year.

But talks this month on implementing components of the deal have stalled, Congo’s Catholic Bishops Conference (CENCO) said in a statement.

The main obstacles include a disagreement over the composition of a council to monitor progress toward elections.

Another contentious issue is the ability for Kabila to choose from multiple prime ministerial candidates.

Kabila has ruled the country since 2001 and the extension of his mandate saw violent protests in which security forces killed at least 40 people.

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