The New Year’s Eve (St. Sylvester) compromise agreement between Kabila and the non-violent opposition seemed to offer hope that 2017 would be better. The leader of the opposition, Etienne Tshisekedi, 84, was to oversee the transition process moving toward elections in Dec. 2017. He was the only person trusted by almost all Congolese. Sadly, he died on Feb. 1, leaving a terrible vacuum. In mid-summer the Election Committee announced that elections will not be held in December, dashing the fragile hope for political improvement.