The failure to organise an election in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to replace President Joseph Kabila has been described as a “grave danger” by some past leaders African States.

A former Secretary-General of the United Nation, Kofi Annan and 9 former African presidents are warning that DR Congo was slipping into acute political crisis.

Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate last December, a dicision that has heightened uncertainty in the vast, mineral-rich central African nation, where regional wars from 1996 to 2003 killed millions of people.

Reuters news agency reports that an agreement between Kabila’s ruling coalition and opposition leaders calls for the presidential election to take place by the end of this year, but delays in registering voters and mobilising financing make that increasingly unlikely.

“The failure to organise elections in late 2016, in conformity with the constitution of the DRC, has created an acute political crisis,” Annan and former presidents including South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo said in a statement.

“We feel obliged to sound the alarm before it is too late,” it added.

Dozens died in 2016 in violent anti-government protests in major cities, and an insurrection in the centre of the country has killed hundreds and displaced 1.3 million more since last August.