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DR Congo Catholic church calls for patience amid stalled dialogue process

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Catholic Church that has been the force behind mediation talks between the government and opposition, has called for patience before resumption of the talks over a power-sharing agreement

The secretary general of the Congo’s National Episcopal Conference (CENCO) Abbot Nshole, told AFP, “We are not yet at the plenary stage of the talks.” Adding that the Church elders recommend all the parties to work together in order to make progress.

The talks focus on a power-sharing plan agreed on December 31, which calls for president Joseph Kabila to leave power after the next election supposed to be held before the end of this year.

However, there is already doubt whether the polls will take place as the country’s budget minister, Pierre Kangudia, said in mid-February that state coffers were empty and it would be difficult to gather the $1.8 billion needed to hold elections.

Meanwhile, the dialogue process stalled following the death of former oppostion chief Etienne Tshisekedi, on February 1, while undergoing treatment in Brussels.

DRC’s main opposition bloc appointed his son Felix Tshisekedi as his successor on March 3.

But not everyone in the oppostion coalition is happy with the choice of the younger Tshisekedi as leader, with some openly criticising his lack of senior political experience.

DRC has never had a smooth transition of power since independence in 1960.

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