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All-night talks fail to reach DR Congo deal

DRCongo President Joseph Kabila's second and final term ended December 20, but he has shown no intention of leaving, sparking protests that have left at least 40 deadHopes of a deal to end DR Congo’s dangerous political crisis before Christmas were faltering Saturday after fruitless all-night talks over President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to quit power. The influential Catholic Church has been brokering talks between the government and opposition and hopes rose this week of an imminent deal, with a draft seen by AFP outlining plans for fresh elections at the end of next year, when Kabila would step down. “The work is practically finished — the final touches are all that is left to do before the deal is signed,” insisted Marcel Utembi, president of the Congo National Episcopal Conference (CENCO), who had pushed for a deal before Christmas.

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