By Godfrey Olukya
ARU, Democratic Republic of the Congo
President Joseph Kabila on Tuesday warned against foreign “interference” in the political upheaval shaking the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Addressing parliament, Kabila appeared to be responding to the comments of UN diplomats about potential changes to the constitution that would allow him to run for office again when his term expires on Dec. 19.
“The Congolese have shown that they can responsibly resolve their differences,” he told lawmakers.
He added: “I warn against and denounce all interference in Congolese affairs… our country is entitled, like all the member states of the United Nations, to respect for its independence.”
Kabila also pledged to hold elections, which have been repeatedly delayed, but did not give a date.
On Monday, the government resigned as part of an agreement to extend Kabila’s rule by giving Cabinet positions to opposition figures who have agreed to his proposal to defer elections to 2018.
Kabila’s comments came after more than 50 people were killed in September protests calling on him to stand down. The current constitution bars Kabila from standing for a third term and observers fear any attempt to circumvent the charter could lead to further bloodshed.