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DR Congo president appoints country's first female prime minister

By Ange Kasongo

KINSHASA (Reuters) -Democratic Republic of Congo's President Felix Tshisekedi on Monday appointed the country's first ever female prime minister, naming planning minister Judith Suminwa to the role.

Her appointment ends weeks of uncertainty. Tshisekedi's inauguration for a second term in January kickstarted a lengthy search for a majority coalition in the National Assembly - a key step before a prime minister could be named and a government formed.

"I am aware of the great responsibility ... We will work for peace and the development of the country," Suminwa said on national television.

The authorities face a raft of challenges including a worsening conflict and humanitarian crisis in eastern regions and the management of Congo's considerable mineral wealth.

In his first term, Tshisekedi promised to root out endemic corruption, rebuild the economy, tackle deep inequalities and curb the eastern insecurity, but critics say he fell short on all counts.

(Additional reporting by Sonia RolleyWriting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)