PARIS – France’s foreign ministry called for the European Union to re-examine its relations with Democratic Republic of Congo after President Joseph Kabila failed to step down when his mandate expired on Monday.
“After the constitutional mandate of President Kabila ended, France is concerned by reports of arrests as well as violence in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi,” spokesman Romain Nadal said in a daily briefing. “The seriousness of the situation justifies that the European Union re-examines its relations with Congo,” he added.
Similar sentiments were echoed in former colonial power Belgium, according to a seperate Reuters report.
“As there is no inclusive agreement, relations between Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be re-examined, with the greatest circumspection for any new engagement with the current authorities,” the statement said.
Kabila, who has ruled since 2001, was required by constitutional term limits to leave office but his government says the presidential election to replace him cannot take place until 2018.