The Democratic Republic of Congo has expressed gratitude to Zimbabwe and other Africans for rallying behind the Central African country when it was threatened with sanctions by the west.

The message was delivered by DRC ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Mwanananga Mwawampanga when he met Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa office in Harare this Friday morning.

Vice President Mnangagwa and the DRC envoy met behind closed doors briefly following the solidarity and unity shown by African countries who met recently in Addis Ababa on the issue of alleged child abuse and child soldiers by the DRC, an issue which African leaders believe is an internal matter which can be resolved by the DRC itself and its fellow African brothers.

Ambassador Mwanananga said the violence which is prevalent in the eastern part of the DRC in Kivhu and Kasai area is declining following several arrests in the affected areas and the solidarity of the African continent.

He said disturbances were being caused by some elements of the opposition that are working with some westerners.

President Joseph Kabila’s second five year term expired in September last year and efforts to hold elections are being hampered by the fact that only 33 million voters have been registered while 42 million others have not been captured due to the unrest in the eastern DRC.

The DRC ambassador said the elections should be held early next year and ruled out the possibility of a constitutional amendment to give President Kabila another term.

Continued power fighting and coups have affected the development rate in the DRC.