UN urges Congo to hold elections by Dec. 31 deadline

The U.N. Security Council is urging Congo's government to swiftly implement an agreement to hold presidential elections by the end of the year.

The council warns that failure to do so will increase the risk of insecurity and instability in the country and the region.

The head of Congo's electoral commission announced July 7 that it would not be possible to organize a presidential ballot by Dec. 31. The country's laws bar President Joseph Kabila from seeking another term but let him remain in power until another election can be held.

A presidential statement approved Wednesday by the 15-member Security Council expresses concern at the slow implementation of the agreement and reiterates that its implementation "is critical to a credible electoral process" and peace.