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Tshisekedi to address DR Congo parliament after Kabila fallout

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Parliamentary crisis

Congolese president Felix Tshisekedi is expected to address parliament on Monday after a week of political upheaval that saw him end a coalition partnership with former president Joseph Kabila.

On Saturday, members of parliament were informed of Tshisekedi's speech.

Until last week, Tshisekedi who came to power in 2019 has been ruling under a coalition with the pro-Kabila FCC party which holds a majority in parliament and the senate. Legislators tore papers and turned desks in brawls that sparked fears of a protracted political crisis.

On Thursday, parliament voted to remove Jeanine Mabunda, the pro-Kabila speaker of the National Assembly.

His camp says the president's desire to reform the security sector, judiciary and go after corruption has been frustrated by the coalition. They accuse Kabila's allies of undermining his successor's right to govern.

But the FCC in turn accuses Tshisekedi of breaching the constitution. Kabila retains huge influence in DR Congo, with allies in the political and military spheres.

The EU's envoy to Kinshasa met with Tshisekedi on Friday, in an apparent show of support for the head of state.

"I met today with the Head of State (...) to express the European Union's support for the ambitious reform program he announced," said EU Ambassador Jean-Marc Châtaigner.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, will visit the DRC from Monday to Friday, said a UN spokesman in New York. In addition to discussions with political and civil society leaders, he will visit Ituri and North Kivu (East), prey to recurrent violence.

AFP