DR Congo: Must hold presidential vote by end of 2018 US says

 

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Friday said the Democratic Republic of Congo must hold its long-delayed presidential election by the end of next year.

Haley, who is on a three-nation trip in Africa, arrived in Kinshasa on Wednesday to push for the elections meant to replace President Joseph Kabila.

Kabila failed to step down at the end of his term in November 2016 since no election was conducted. The country’s electoral authority said it was unable to hold the vote due to logistical challenges.

The failure to hold that vote sparked violence in some parts of the country, with Thousands killed since August 2016.

Haley, who met with the Congolese electoral commission (CENI) during a visit to Kinshasa, told reporters she had passed on a message that “these elections must take place in 2018 or there will be no support for the electoral process.”

“The U.S. will not support anything in 2019. The international community will not support anything in 2019,” Reuters quotes Haley to say.

DR Congo opposition leaders have however accused President Kabila of frustrating the vote in order to cling on to power, allegations he denies.

Before landing in Kinshasa, Haley had visited South Sudan and Ethiopia.

 

By Jerry Owilli

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