Congo-Kinshasa: US tells Kabila to hold poll in 2018 0

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has told Democratic Republic of Congo it must hold its delayed elections in 2018. Ms Haley warned that US support for the country was at stake if this was not adhered to:

“Elections must be held in 2018, (otherwise) the DRC should not count on the support of the United States and the international community,” the AFP news agency reports her as saying.

She made the comments after meeting Corneille Nangaa, head of the National Electoral Commission. Elections were originally scheduled for November 2016 – but the NEC cancelled the polls citing logistical and financial difficulties.

It said that among other security concerns the continuing unrest in the central Kasai region was making it difficult to register voters. The commision said two weeks ago that the earliest date it could organise the poll was April 2019.

Opposition protests have been held across the country against the perceived extension of President Joseph Kabila’s rule. Mr Kabila was to set to step down in December 2016 but in a deal brokered by the Catholic church it was agreed he would leave office at the end of 2017.

Ms Haley – who arrived in the country on Wednesday – also met the religious leaders who mediated the 2016 deal. She urged them to “get involved” in ending the deadlock. The ambassador also visited a displaced people’s camp at Kitchanga in the eastern region of the country.

She is scheduled to leave the country later on Friday. It is the first trip to Africa for Ms Haley, who is the most senior Trump administration official to visit the continent. She has also visited South Sudan and Ethiopia.


Culled from the BBC