Congo rivals race against clock to reach deal on Kabila | Reuters

By Aaron Ross | KINSHASA KINSHASA Talks on a deal that would see Congo President Joseph Kabila step down next year continue to falter over the naming of an interim prime minister, one negotiator said, but he held out hope that agreement could be reached on Friday.Negotiators hope to seal Democratic Republic of Congo’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960 but there is disagreement as a main opposition bloc demands that a prime minister be named from its ranks.Kabila's ruling coalition has resisted.

Reuters December 30, 2016 23:16:51 IST
Congo rivals race against clock to reach deal on Kabila
| Reuters

Congo rivals race against clock to reach deal on Kabila
 Reuters

By Aaron Ross
| KINSHASA

KINSHASA Talks on a deal that would see Congo President Joseph Kabila step down next year continue to falter over the naming of an interim prime minister, one negotiator said, but he held out hope that agreement could be reached on Friday.Negotiators hope to seal Democratic Republic of Congo’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960 but there is disagreement as a main opposition bloc demands that a prime minister be named from its ranks.Kabila's ruling coalition has resisted. "We believe that we can find an accord today," said Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo, one of the Roman Catholic bishops mediating the talks. "If we are here it is because we believe that."Despite running past 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) when a signing ceremony in the capital Kinshasa had been planned, Ambongo said negotiators had reached compromises on several outstanding points.

In an earlier tweet opposition leader Félix Tshisekedi had warned that the negotiations could fall apart. If they do, the church plans to call off the talks and move ahead with a "Plan B" which the bishops have yet to make public. Appointment of a prime minister is the one remaining sticking point, said Martin Fayulu, an opposition delegate. A spokesman for the ruling coalition declined to comment.

Kabila's two-term mandate ended on Dec. 19 but authorities have effectively extended it until 2018.Under the proposed deal, Kabila would agree not to attempt to change the constitution to participate in elections to be held next year.

Kabila's actions have sparked demonstrations, with security forces killing around 40 people last week protesting over the tenure of a leader who came to power in 2001 when his father Laurent was assassinated.A deal to resolve the situation is seen potentially boosting pro-democracy activists in other African countries and buck a trend in which presidents have changed constitutions to stand for third terms.Western and African powers fear a breakdown in the talks could lead to a repeat of conflicts seen between 1996 and 2003 in eastern Congo in which millions died, mostly from starvation and disease. (Editing by Edward McAllister and Jason Neely)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

UK reactivates emergency COVID-19 hospitals, closes London primary schools
World

UK reactivates emergency COVID-19 hospitals, closes London primary schools

By Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - Britain reactivated emergency hospitals built at the start of the pandemic and shut primary schools in London on Friday to counter the rapid spread of a much more infectious variant of the coronavirus. With more than 50,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 for the last four days, the health service said it was preparing for an anticipated rush of patients and needed more beds.

Romney floats sweeping vaccine plan as U.S. nears 20 million COVID-19 cases
World

Romney floats sweeping vaccine plan as U.S. nears 20 million COVID-19 cases

By Susan Heavey WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Mitt Romney on Friday urged the U.S. government to immediately enlist veterinarians, combat medics and others in a sweeping proposal to administer coronavirus vaccinations and slow the rising death toll.

Suddenly overwhelmed, Ireland says thousands of COVID-19 cases yet to be added to tally
World

Suddenly overwhelmed, Ireland says thousands of COVID-19 cases yet to be added to tally

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland said on Friday it had under-reported coronavirus cases in recent days by thousands more than previously known as its system came under strain, suggesting the EU's fastest growing outbreak is worsening even more rapidly than figures showed.