UN says election in Congo key to ending political crisis

A strategic review of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo says holding a long delayed presidential election that is credible will be key to ending the political crisis that is the main driver of increasing violence and human rights abuses.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns in the report to the U.N. Security Council that Congo risks "sliding back into conflict." But he says President Joseph Kabila also has a "historic opportunity to cement his legacy" as the first Congo president to hand power to an elected successor.

The U.N. chief says in the report that "all efforts" must be geared to keeping alive an agreement calling for elections by the end of 2017 "and ensuring the protection of civilians and human rights."

The report was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.