• Special envoy discussed November 2016 Ballot with Kabila
  • Meeting also included Burundi political situation, adoptions

The U.S. special representative to the Great Lakes region met with Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila on Wednesday to discuss the election in that country and ongoing armed conflicts in the region.

The conversation included the political situation in Burundi and adoptions, Tom Perriello, the U.S.’s special envoy to the Great Lakes region, told reporters in Kinshasa, the capital, on Wednesday.

“The conversation on the electoral calendar was very constructive,” Perriello said. “I am sure we will continue to have many discussions between ourselves and others with the goal, of course, of meeting the presidential and legislative elections slated for the end of next year.”

Perriello, who replaces U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feignold, takes on the role of special envoy at a troubled time in the region. Burundi has suffered deadly protests and widespread civil unrest since President Pierre Nkurunziza successfully sought a third-term in an election in July, which the U.S. described as lacking in credibility. 

In Congo, the government plans to hold six elections in 14 months culminating in the presidential elections in November 2016. Opposition leaders have expressed concern that Kabila also wants to run for a third term, which is banned by the constitution.
In two visits to the region since his appointment on July 6, 

Perriello has visited Kinshasa and Goma in the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Perriello previously served as a congressman. It was the first meeting between Kabila and Perriello.

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