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Angola, Congo Presidents Meet Kabila Despite Protests

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Angola, Congo Presidents Meet Kabila Despite Protests

The Presidents of Congo Brazaville and Angola are currently in Democratic Republic of Congo meeting with their counterpart Joseph Kabila.

President Denis Sassou Ngouesso and Angola’s Joao Lourenco arrived in the capital Kinshasa on invitation by Kabila.

DRC government spokesperson Lambert Mende confirmed the tripartite meeting but did not reveal details or agenda of what these leaders are going to talk about.

Both countries are members of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region [ICGLR]–  an intergovernmental organization of African countries in the African Great Lakes region.

The visit of the two heads of states, signals strong support for their counterpart President Kabila who is struggling with widespread protests across the country. The protesters are simply asking Kabila not to extend his rule.

The clergy and dozens of Protestors protest in Kinshasa

Kabila refused to step down at the end of his mandate in December 2016. Scores of people have been killed in Kinshasa, the capital, and elsewhere across the central African country. The exact number of detentions is unclear but may be as high as 600.

According to Georges Kapiamba, of the Congolese Association for Access to Justice, more than 200 people were detained over the last weekend of January in Kinshasa.

The demonstrations were organised by the Lay Coordination Committee of the DRC, a group backed by many priests and bishops in the majority-Catholic country.

Under a deal mediated by the church between Kabila and his opponents, the president was to step down at the end of last year, paving the way for an election early this year. But he reneged and the poll has been repeatedly delayed. It is now scheduled for December.

Kinshasa government says the delays are down to the logistical difficulties of organising polls in a vast country with limited infrastructure.

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