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US Envoy Calls for DRC Elections in 2018

US Envoy Calls for DRC Elections in 2018”

Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador the United Nations, praised Congo's bishops for their efforts for peace and democracy in the embattled country.

Haley, who met with the Congolese electoral commission during a visit to Kinshasa, said that she had passed on a message that "these elections must take place in 2018 or there will be no support for the electoral process". "It is important that the elections be held in 2018", she said, referring to the country's full name of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Haley later told the press that if Congo does not hold elections next year, it will lose support from United States of America and worldwide community. She called on President Joseph Kabila to announce elections will take place next year.

The worldwide community has pressed for a vote to choose a new head of state to be held as soon as possible - but no timetable has been set so far.

Congo's electoral commission has said it will not be ready to conduct elections until April 2019 at the earliest. He cited deadly violence in central Congo's Kasai region for the delay.

Earlier on Friday, Haley visited the headquarters of the influential Catholic church, which brokered the December 31, 2016 compromise.

She urged the bishops to again get involved in ending the deadlock.

"For every day which goes by without holding elections, a woman is raped, a child has an unwanted pregnancy, children are inducted by armed groups", she said. "US and the worldwide community will not support anything in 2019", Haley said.

Tillerson, who was traveling in the Middle East and Europe while Haley was in Africa, has denied reports that he is fed up with dysfunction in the Trump administration and planning to quit. She arrived from South Sudan, and previously, Ethiopia.



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