Kerry urges Congo's Kabila not to run for president again

Kerry, on a swing through African capitals, urged president Joseph Kabila to respect his country's constitution and decline a third term.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   May 5, 2014 at 4:04 PM
| License Photo

KINSHASA , Democratic Republic of Congo, May 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila not to run for a third term in 2016.

There has been speculation Kabila, in office since 2001, would attempt to amend the national constitution to permit an attempt for a third term.

Meeting with Kabila in Kinshasa, Kerry publicly said the United States believes “that people have respect for their nation and their government when a constitutional process is properly implemented and respected.”

Kerry, visiting several African capitals, also brought up security issues in his meeting with Kabila. A senior State Department official said Kerry told Kabila neighboring Rwanda and Uganda support the return of members of the M23 rebel group to Congo, after about 2,000 left following a peace agreement with the government, but Kabila’s government was slow to carry out the agreement.

The United States also hopes Kabila will pursue militias originating in Uganda and Rwanda responsible for Rwandan genocide, said U.S. special envoy Russell Feingold.

“The planning has been done, but president Kabila needs to give the green light to say it is time to take them on militarily," Feingold said.

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