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ICC Note: Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, is again requesting that the government of DRC fulfill its obligation to the 31 December 2016 Agreement. This was the agreement which President Kabila said he would not try to run for presidency again after Dec 2017. That deadline passed more than 6 months ago and president Kabila still has not vacated his position or allowed new elections to take place.

06/19/2018 DRC (Vatican News) – Democratic Republic of Congo’s Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, has made a passionate plea for the full implementation of the 31 December 2016 Agreement if the country is to come out of its current political impasse.

“Right now we are in a situation of ‘wait and see.’ President Kabila is someone who always wants to resolve matters on his own terms. However, he needs to engage with the 31 December Accord. We need to go ahead with the implementation of that Agreement which asked Kabila not to re-contest and not to amend the Constitution,” Cardinal Monsengwo told Vatican media personnel in Rome over the weekend. The Cardinal was speaking at the Palazzo Pio’s Sala Marconi hall.

On 31 December 2016, the DRC’s Catholic Bishops under Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO) facilitated the signing of an agreement between the government and opposition political parties. The settlement guaranteed, among other things, that President Joseph Kabila would not seek an unconstitutional third mandate.

The agreement has never really been implemented, and there have been demonstrations in the major cities of the DRC mostly led by the Church. Cardinal Monsengwo revealed that the Holy Father would consider visiting the DRC if it were not for the political crisis in his country.

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