UN 'must support' Congo election date deal

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The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo has appealed to the UN Security Council to support a political deal intended to prevent bloodshed over delayed elections, the AFP news agency reports.

The New Year's Eve deal, mediated by the church, calls for the appointment of a new prime minister and the appointment of a transitional body to pave the way to elections in December 2017, with President Joseph Kabila staying on as head of state during this transitional period.

He had been due to stand down after two terms in office last month, but elections could not be organised in time as the electoral roll was not ready.

Backers of the agreement see it as a way of stopping a flare-up in violence as it is supported by the main opposition.

However, some allies of President Kabila are angered by it, with one senior MP, Sami Badibanga, who was recently appointed prime minister under an earlier agreement with smaller opposition parties, rejecting it altogether.