AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Bishops: "We will suspend our participation in national dialogue, no to Kabila’s third term"

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 violence   bishops  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The Congolese Bishops have threatened to withdraw from the dialogue if the political forum is used to give Joseph Kabila an opportunity to stand for re-election.
"Out of respect for our innocent brothers and sisters, and in solidarity with struggling families and the entire Congolese people, CENCO has wisely considered to suspend its participation in the national dialogue in mourning and to search for a broad consensus". The Bishops strongly condemn the violence and remind all the Congolese people "that they are not enemies but brothers, compatriots of a State that they must build together and not destroy".
CENCO conditions the resumption of its participation in the national dialogue on the signing of a preliminary political agreement that includes the following points: "the current President of the Republic must be clearly established and stipulated that he will not be a candidate for the next presidential election to be organized as soon as possible"; "the election date will be established by the agreement".
Because of the violence, national dialogue has been suspended for 48 hours. Today, September 21, Kinshasa lives a precarious calm. A provisional toll of the two days of clashes in Kinshasa is at least twenty dead, between police and demonstrators. Several buildings were looted. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 21/09/2016)