Pope Francis has called on all stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) to ensure that peace continues to prevail as that country awaits the final results in tense presidential elections.

In a statement Monday, Pope Francis said he was following developments in DR Congo and praying for “overdue reconciliation”.

The statement urged stakeholders to commit to the electoral process and to help end the insecurity, violence and persistent climate of war that has characterized that country for many years now.

Non-essential European Union (EU) staff have left DR Congo as fears grow that the situation could degenerate into war.

Late last year and in retaliation for the EU slapping sanctions on 14 DR Congolese officials accused of human rights violations, Kinshasa retaliated by expelling 14 EU representatives from the country.

The elections body in DR Congo, CENI, continues its final count of results from the presidential election. It has not set a firm date when it expects to have the full results ready for release and certification.

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