Congo talks pause close to deal for Kabila to step down in 2017

The talks broke up at around 5:30 am local time.

A Congolese protester holds a book of the DRC's constitution in defiance against DRC President Joseph Kabila at a protest at the country's embassy in Pretoria on 20 December 2016 in Pretoria. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Political parties in Democratic Republic of Congo paused talks on Saturday close to a deal under which President Joseph Kabila would leave power in 2017 and elections would be held the same year, participants at the talks said.

The talks broke up at around 5:30am local time after about 12 hours of non-stop negotiations and were set to reconvene at 11 am, participants said.