Speaking when he met Angola’s president João Lourenço who is currently on a tour of France, Mr.Macron appealed to Mr. Kabila to honour an agreement brokered by the Catholic church to hold elections this year.
“We support regional mediation,” said Emmanuel Macron, at the Élysée Palace with João Lourenço, according to French publication Jeune Afrique.
The two presidents were keen to reiterate their commitment to the Saint Sylvester agreement and the holding of elections on December 23 “which Joseph Kabila would not have to participate in,” said Mr. Macron, before adding that France “does not have to dictate” to Mr. Kabila what he must do.
Kabila’s constitutional term ended in 2016.
But despite him being ineligible to stand–he has not publicly stated that he won’t stand—leading to fears that he may change the constitution and seek re-election.
Mr. Lourenço told his French counterpart that there is currently mediation being conducted by all the heads of regional organizations, “Omar Bongo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Paul Kagame” with whom “we discuss regularly the future of the DRC, just like with Mr. Kabila “.
He said: “The [New Year’s Eve] agreement has received the blessing of the Church, and all that is blessed must be respected. We advise Joseph Kabila to follow this path. But a council is not an obligation.
“We do not have the right to say [to Joseph Kabila] that he must leave it, it is up to the voters to say it through the ballot box. But we believe in our right to protect ourselves from destabilization.”