17, June 2017
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and nine former African presidents have warned that the future of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is in “grave danger” due to the failure to organize an election to replace President Joseph Kabila.
Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate last December, adding to uncertainty in the vast, mineral-rich Central African nation, where regional wars from 1996-2003 killed millions of people.
An agreement between Kabila’s ruling coalition and opposition leaders calls for the presidential election to take place by the end of this year, but delays in registering voters and mobilizing financing make that increasingly unlikely.
“The failure to organize elections in late 2016, in conformity with the constitution of the DRC, has created an acute political crisis,” Annan and the former presidents, including South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo, said in a statement issued late on Thursday.
“We feel obliged to sound the alarm before it is too late,” it added.
Dozens died last year in violent anti-government protests in major cities, and an insurrection in the center of the country has killed hundreds and displaced 1.3 million since last August.