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DRC: President Tshisekedi expected to quit 'Kabila coalition'

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Democratic Republic Of Congo

The African Union (AU) has called on the leaders of the Democratic Republic of Congo to preserve "peace and stability" on the eve of an announced intervention by the president in the midst of a political crisis, a few days after a UN call for dialogue.

Visiting Thursday and Friday in Kinshasa, the chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahama, said in a statement that he "had exchanges" with the head of state Felix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila.

On Sunday, Tshisekedi is expected to announce his "long-awaited decisions" according to his spokesman, to get out of the crisis within the coalition.

The AU chief "called on the whole (class) of Congolese politicians to work resolutely and sincerely to establish national harmony and preserve peace and stability.

On Saturday, about a hundred deputies wanted to submit petitions to the Assembly asking for the resignation of the pro-Kabila president of the lower house, Jeanine Mabunda, and her office.

"All offices are closed," said a UDPS member of parliament, Léon Mubikayi.

Deputies claim that the petitions were signed by a majority of them (more than 250). 

The pro-Kabila FCC claims a majority of more than 300 MPs out of 500 in the Assembly.

In addition, former President Kabila did not go as announced in Lubumbashi (south-east) on Saturday.

He was prevented from travelling, according to his supporters, without official confirmation.

"Forbidding Joseph Kabila to travel (...) is a pure and simple violation of his constitutional rights," reacted the human rights lawyer, Jean-Claude Katende.

"I remain concerned about the political tensions within the ruling coalition," wrote UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres a few days ago. "I call on all stakeholders to resolve their differences through dialogue, in accordance with the Constitution," he said.

Proclaimed winner of the elections, Tshisekedi rose to power since January 2019 under a secret coalition agreement with his predecessor, who kept the majority in parliament.

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