Congo Deal Signed: Full Provisions Explained

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A deal has been signed to end Joseph Kabila’s 15-year rule in Congo. The country was facing a crisis as dozens of people have died in protests since Kabila failed to step down earlier in December when his mandate expired.

Under the deal, Kabila will lead a transitional government until elections and an opposition politician will serve as Prime Minister.

congo deal
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Congo has not had a smooth transfer of power between any leaders since independence from Belgium in 1960.

Kabila took over in 2001 following the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila.

Under the deal, Kabila will be unable to change the constitution to allow him to stay in power for a third term.

Kabila’s mandate ran out on Dec. 19, but authorities have effectively extended it until 2018 because the government said it could not arrange elections before then.

The parties agreed that Kabila will appoint a prime minister from the country’s main opposition bloc to oversee the transition, a major sticking point in the final stages of the talks.

Western and African powers feared the current impasse could lead to a repeat of conflicts seen between 1996 and 2003 in eastern Congo in which millions died, mostly from starvation and disease.

Congo is extremely rich in natural resources, but is politically unstable, has a lack of infrastructure, deep rooted corruption, and centuries of both commercial and colonial extraction and exploitation with little holistic development.

Besides the capital, Kinshasa, the other major cities, Lubumbashi and Mbuji-Mayi, are both mining communities.

DR Congo’s largest export is raw minerals, with China accepting over 50% of DRC’s exports.

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