Members of DR Congo’s ruling coalition and those of the opposition have come together to officially mark the signing of a political accord that was originally agreed on last year.
The deal was sealed after a national dialogue mediated by the country’s conference of Catholic bishops (CENCO).
Under the deal, president Joseph Kabila would stay in power for a year. It however added that the constitution cannot be changed to let him run again.
The agreement comes weeks after late March, when there was a disagreement over the procedure for nominating a new prime minister from the main opposition bloc.
“It’s my duty, as a leader. If a leader cannot recognise how much his population is suffering, then he is the devil. I refuse to be the devil. I looked at my people and I completed my duty that Etienne Tshisekedi sent me to do. Today I have done my moral duty,” Josephe Olenga Nkoyi, a member of opposition coalition, who signed the agreement said.
In March, the Catholic bishops withdrew from their role as mediators, blaming lack of “sincere political will”.
“We have two duties with this signature: the elections and improving the social situation of our people,” the spokesperson for opposition, Alain Atundu Liongo said.
The faction of the opposition coalition that did not sign the deal said that the latest signing will worsen things, especially since the ruling majority showed little signs of compromising.
“This will worsen the existing crisis. We know those who were meant to sign the agreement. They are a total of 32 delegates, who were part of the initial negotiations,” opposition member Pierre Lumbi said.
Kabila’s failure to step down has fuelled further tension in recent times.