DRC: Implementing Peace Agreement is the only Solution to Crisis, Bishop tells UN

KINSHASA MARCH 24, 2016 (CISA) – Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa, President of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO) has said that fulfilling the terms of a peace agreement signed in December 31, 2016 is the only way out of the political crisis in the country.

“The Democratic Republic of Congo is now without any legitimate institution. It is the first time that this has happened in our Country since independence. Therefore, the agreement of December 31 is the only way out of the crisis,” said Archbishop Utembi Tapa of Kisangani.

The Archbishop was speaking March 21, at the UN Security Council at UN headquarters in New York where he was invited to describe the situation in the DRC.

The failure to hold the presidential elections that were to take place in December 2016, created a political crisis which led to the Church being upon called to mediate between the government and opposition.

As a result, an agreement was reached on December 31, 2016 that provides for the maintenance of office of outgoing President, Joseph Kabila, and the formation of a national unity government, whose Premier is appointed by the opposition, in charge of leading the Country to the elections.

“Unfortunately, the specific agreement destined to ensuring the implementation of the agreements is difficult to achieve,” said Archbishop Utembi Tapa in his speech.

“While the population looks forward to the elections, the political status quo due to the intransigence of the negotiators on some remaining points of divergence and managed by political maneuvering, could delay the implementation of the agreement,” he added.

“The security situation, marked by bloody clashes and human rights violations, remain worrying,” added the Archbishop, who further asked the members to commit themselves for peace in the DRC.

CENCO recently announced that the negotiations for the implementation of the agreements will have to be concluded on March 27.

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