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Doubts trail Kabila’s ‘ready to step down’ declaration

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President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Joseph Kabila has agreed to step down when elections are held later this year. This is according to the information minister Lambert Mende in an interview with the Voice of America channel.

According to the minister, Kabila will, however, name a successor in July this year. He is barred from contesting for another term under the constitution.

His final term expired in late 2016 but an earlier court ruling said he could stay in charge till when elections are next held. The Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) says the inability to organize polls was based on the lack of an updated register and insecurity in parts of the country.

People on social media have reacted to Kabila’s promise to step down. There are those that doubt if the 47-year-old will leave especially given that he did not directly commit to go.

Others are concerned more about why he has taken it upon himself to openly elect a successor. For others, Kabila is only buying time till he pulls his next stunt.

A former United States Ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State, Herman J. Cohen said he trusted Kabila to keep his word.

“In view of DRC government spokesman Lambert Mende’s statement in Washington January 31, I am now persuaded that there will be an election in December 2018, and that Kabila will not be candidate. Now vital that opposition unite around single candidate,” Cohen said in a tweet.

Joseph Kabila came to power in 2001 after the assassination of his father Laurent Kabila. He has since won the last two elections organised in the resource – rich country, first in 2006 before his reelection for a final term in 2011. He was expected to step down in 2016 but failed to do so with the reason that the prevailing conditions were not suitable for an election.

The international community has pressed for elections to be held and for Kabila to step down.

A series of opposition protests have been clamped down by the police. The most recent being a peaceful march by the Catholic Church. Police fired tear gas as protesters holding green leaves and arrested a number of priests and portesters.

Congo is Africa’s largest copper producer but ranks very low on the U.N. Human Development Index. Congo has not experienced a peaceful transition of power since independence in 1960. Dozens were killed last month in demonstrations in the capital, Kinshasa.

Kabila’s two main opponents are Felix Tshisekedi who leads the main opposition party – taking over the reigns from his late father Etienne Tshisekedi who died whiles seeking medical attention in Belgium in 2017.

The other opponent is a former ally and governor of the country’s Katanga Province Moise Katumbi. The owner of TP Mazembe football club is also in self-imposed exiled after a number of corruption charges were thrown at him. He promised to return in December 2017 but failed to do so.

Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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