French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said on Tuesday that the decision to postpone the April 2018 presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo is not a solution to the crisis facing the country.
Ayrault told the press on Tuesday that it is imperative for the election date to be set and President Kabila to step down.
“Delaying the election to 2018 will not solve the problem. There is only one way out of the crisis, which is the President to announce that he will not stay in office and a date be set for the election,” he said.
“Delaying the election to 2018 will not solve the problem. There is only one way out of the crisis, which is the President to announce that he will not stay in office and a date be set for the election.”
“The situation in the DRC is a great concern to us. There is a major risk of clashes and violent protests and repression,” Ayrault said, adding that none will be excluded when it comes to issuing sanctions against personalities from the ruling party.
An agreement signed by the ruling party and some opposition parties at the end of talks on Sunday as part of the national dialogue endorsed the April 2018 presidential election date proposed by the electoral commission.
According to the agreement opposed by the major opposition coalition, President Joseph Kabila will remain in office till April 2018 while a member of the opposition takes the position of Prime Minister.
DRC is facing a lot of criticisms and sanctions after the electoral commission postponed the country’s election date from December 20 to the end of 2018 due to “logistical constraints”.
Belgium has already limited the visa duration to be granted diplomatic officials from the country to six months and the United States has adopted financial sanctions against two senior military officials close to Joseph Kabila.
The 28 European Union countries are requesting to sanction some individuals who oppose to early elections.