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DR Congo says visit by UN chief would be 'inopportune' amid poll preparations

AFP  |  Kinshasa 

A visit by UN Antonio to the Democratic Republic of would be "inopportune", a top has said as the country prepares for twice-delayed elections.

In response to "the wish of the UN to visit the DRC... we thought it was inopportune at this time," told AFP yesterday.

He cited "the pressing business of the country and the negotiations that are under way" at a time when Western powers are urging to state clearly that he will not seek re-election.

Kabila has been critical of the UN peacekeeping mission to the DRC (MONUSCO), which has pledged to protect civilians in the run-up to the elections now set for December 23.

In late January, Kabila said should leave the vast, conflict-wracked central African country by 2020 at the latest.

told AFP that "no date has been announced" for a visit by Gutteres. "For now, nothing is planned."

MONUSCO, with some 17,000 troops and an annual budget of USD 1.153 billion (982 million euros), is one of the world's biggest UN peacekeeping missions. The renewed its mandate in March.

Kabila was obligated to step down as at the end of 2016 after he reached his two-term constitutional limit, but he refuted and now a constitutional clause has allowed him to remain in office until his successor is elected.

Escalating tension over Kabila's future has fuelled protests, leading to a security crackdown that has claimed dozens of lives and caused concern among the DR Congo's neighbours.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 02:10 IST