Congo begins registering voters in turbulent Kasai provinces

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Congo's electoral commission says it has started voter registration in the turbulent Kasai provinces where thousands have been killed in fighting in the past year.

Commission spokesman Jean-Pierre Kalamba said Tuesday that the delay in registration means a presidential election will not be possible this year. That defies an agreement reached earlier with the opposition to hold the vote in 2017.

Voters elsewhere in Congo already have begun registration for the election that was meant to take place last November. The opposition has accused President Joseph Kabila of delaying the vote to stay in power.

Voter registration had been delayed in the Kasai provinces because of fighting between the military and militia groups. The Catholic church has said more than 3,300 people died between October and May.