DR Congo opposition leader urges citizens to reject Kabila

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A supporter of the Democratic Republic of Congo's opposition leader Etienne Tshiskedi holds his portrait during a rally in Kinshasa in 2016

A supporter of the Democratic Republic of Congo's opposition leader Etienne Tshiskedi holds his portrait during a rally in Kinshasa in 2016 (AFP Photo/Eduardo Soteras)

Brussels (AFP) - Congolese opposition head Etienne Tshisekedi called on citizens and foreign countries to "no longer recognise" Joseph Kabila as president, in a video released as the long-serving leader appeared set to remain in office on despite his mandate expiring.

"I am launching a solemn appeal to the Congolese people to no longer recognise the authority of Mr. Joseph Kabila, to the international community to no longer deal with Joseph Kabila in the name of the Democratic Republic of Congo," 84-year-old Etienne Tshisekedi, leader of the country's mainstream opposition party, said in the video released on YouTube overnight.

Valentin Mubake, a close aide to Tshisekedi, confirmed to AFP that the video was authentic, and said it was filmed in the Kinshasa district where he lives.

The message was not available in the DR Congo where authorities since Sunday have imposed controls on pictures and video on social media networks.

Tshisekedi repeatedly stumbled in reading the text, and is helped by a person off-screen who whispers certain words to him.

Tshisekedi also calls on the people to remain "vigilant and ready for peaceful actions, in accordance with article 64 of the constitution in order to put an end to the forfeiture and treason perpetrated by Mr Joseph Kabila."

The leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) said he had agreed that the opposition movement called the "Rassemblement" (the Gathering) should "continue negotiations" with the government launched on December 8 by the Catholic Church in order to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

The negotiations were halted on Saturday with no significant progress made, but were due to resume on Wednesday.

Tensions are high in the vast country as Kabila's second term officially expires on Tuesday while he appears set to stay in office.

State television overnight announced the formation of a new government following an agreement between Kabila's administration and a fringe opposition group.