US urges Congolese president to follow constitution, refuse to run for third term, in 2016

The Associated Press

U.S Secretary of State John Kerry gives a press conference after meetings at the Palais de la Nation in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sunday, May 4, 2014. The United States is ready to help fund the demobilisation of Democratic Republic of Congo's rebels, a senior US official said on May 3 as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the country on the latest leg of an Africa tour. "I can say categorically that we're ready to support them," the official said when asked if Washington was ready to back the government's demobilisation plan for some 12,000 rebels active in dozens of militias in the country's mineral-rich, restive east, a plan that's estimated to cost some 100 million dollars. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, pool)

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By LARA JAKES, AP National Security Writer

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The United States is prepared to give Congo $30 million in aid for stability and democracy-building — but wants President Joseph Kabila (kah-BEE'-lah) to agree to step down at the end of his current term in office.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Congo's government also needs to schedule elections soon. The vote is tentatively set for 2016, although a firm date has not yet been set.

In a private Sunday meeting, Kerry said he urged Kabila to follow Congo's constitution in the upcoming elections, which would prohibit him from running for a third consecutive term as president.

It was not clear if Kabila agreed.

The funding also would help further stability efforts in Congo, which has been wracked by violence for two decades.

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