US ambassador to UN says Congo elections must occur in 2018

AP News
Posted: Oct 27, 2017 1:26 PM
US ambassador to UN says Congo elections must occur in 2018

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo will not have the help of the international community if elections are not held in 2018, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Friday as she neared the end of a three-nation Africa visit.

Nikki Haley's remarks came after her meeting with the president of Congo's election commission in Kinshasa.

"If the elections are not organized in 2018, the DRC cannot count on the international community. 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 was expected to repeat the message during a meeting with President Joseph Kabila before returning to the U.S.

Congo has seen widespread anger over Kabila's stay in power after his mandate ended in December and the election was delayed.

The head of Congo's election commission has said the presidential vote cannot take place until 2019 despite a deal struck with the opposition that it would occur this year. He cited deadly violence in central Congo's Kasai region for the delay.

Haley came to Africa to see U.S. and United Nations involvement in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Congo.