UNITED NATIONS New
York (Xinhua) -- UN chief on Saturday
welcomed the signing of a political agreement by the government
and opposition parties in Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC), which will hopefully ensure a peaceful transition of
power in the central African country.
"It represents a
significant step towards a peacefully managed transition
consistent with the democratic principles enshrined in the
country’s Constitution," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said
in a statement.
The agreement was signed on Saturday in Kinshasa by the
opposition parties and the ruling party of President Joseph
Kabila. The deal will require Kabila to step down after
elections that must take place before the end of 2017.
This long-awaited development builds on an initial agreement
signed on October 18 between part of the opposition and Kabila’s
party, Ban said.
The Secretary-General commended all actors involved in this
effort, including the leaders of the opposition and Kabila for
leading the mediation.
Ban called on them to abide by the agreement just signed.
"Concrete steps must now be taken to prepare the ground for
the holding of elections without further delay," he said, adding
the update of the voter register must proceed in a timely
All political actors must work to ensure an environment
conducive to free, fair, and credible elections, including by
refraining from violence, said Ban.
The Secretary-General encouraged the government of DRC to
"redouble its efforts" to uphold fundamental rights and
freedoms, which are essential to a credible electoral process.
On his final day at the helm of the United Nations, Ban
wished continued success to the people and the government of the
DRC in their efforts to achieve peace and stability.