September 8, 2017
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO….
PRESIDENT KABILA, OPPOSITION, SECURITY AND ELECTION
The current political situation in The Democratic Republic of Congo could have one ask many questions to the point of being overwhelmed if not given proper information about it. This giant country in the heart of Africa has like any other nation a travelled and continues traveling towards a more democratic and free society for its people. However there have been a lot said regarding President Joseph Kabila and the current administration not being willing to organize free and fair elected to ensure the peaceful passing of powers. Just from an historical and factual point of view, President Joseph Kabila has done nothing but unifying the country first by ending the multiple civil wars and sharing governance with four vice presidents from 2003 – 2006 and then organizing free democratic elections in 2006 and 2011. President Joseph Kabila whose second term expired on December 19, 2016 remains in office mainly because of the political bickering between the majority ruling group around his person and the so divided and undisciplined opposition group. In the meantime, here are key information which will help one better understand the current situation without passing blind blames to President Joseph Kabila administration:
First, the is a political agreement signed on December 31, 2016
The President of the Republic Joseph Kabila Kabange entrusted the mission of good offices to the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO), to obtain the adhesion of the radical wing of the opposition – the Rassemblement (the Rally) – to the Agreement of the 18 October 2016, in order to make it more inclusive.
A comprehensive agreement was signed on 31 December, after intense negotiations, to which the parties agreed to respect the Constitution and the laws of the Republic by fixing, of course, the deadline for the organization of the presidential, legislative and provincial elections at the end of December 2017, but by specifying that an evaluation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the government and the National Monitoring Committee (CNSA) Allow the report of the elections.
The parties also agreed that the President of the Republic in office and the two Houses of Parliament would remain in office in accordance with Articles 70 (2), 103 (2), 105 (2) and 137 (6) of the Constitution.
The appointment of the Prime Minister from the opposition
As stipulated in the Agreement of 31 December 2016, President Kabila appointed the Prime Minister presented by the Rassemblement. It is Mr. Bruno Tshilbala Nzenzhe, member of the UDPS and old companion of struggle of Mr. Etienne Tshisekedi, President of the Council of Elders of the Rassemblement, deceased 1 February 2017.
As a reminder, it is Bruno Tshibala Nzenzhe who was the moderator of the work of the high mass of the political opposition of Genval, which will give to the Rassemblement. He became its spokesperson thereafter.
The setting up of the National Council for the Follow-up of the Agreement (CNSA)
In order to ensure the proper implementation of the Agreement of 31 December 2016, stakeholders agreed to establish a democratic support institution called the National Monitoring Council of the Agreement. Its main responsibilities are:
. Follow up on the timetable for the implementation of the Agreement.
. To carry out regular evaluations once every two months with the CENI and the Government on the electoral process.
. To report regularly on the status of implementation of the Agreement.
. To make recommendations respectively to the Parliament, the Government and the CENI for the proper implementation of the Agreement.
. To appreciate the time necessary for the completion of the elections with the Government and the CENI.
. The meeting of CNSA, CENI and the government was to confirm that the enrollment process was going well, and the citizens of Congo were
Second, The electoral process continuation
The electoral cycle did not culminate in the 2016 deadline, as foreseen in the Constitution – for security reasons (the war against the rebellion of the M23) and economic (lower budgetary receipts, consequent to the fall of the courses of raw materials, the main source of income of the DRC). The authorities of the country had not been obliged to do everything possible by equipping the CENI with the necessary means to renew the electoral register, the basis of all future elections.
In view of the delays in voter enlistment, due to the violence provoked by the militia Kamwina Nsapu in Kasai, the December 2017 deadline cannot be held, as was revealed by the president of the CENI.
However, as the security efforts of this central part of the DRC have paid off, enrollment will begin in early August, with the possibility that the electoral law and the law on the distribution of seats will be voted at the end of December 2017.
The year 2018 will thus open the way for the convocation of the ballots expected in the DRC.
From the enrollment
The complete revision of the electoral register required by the signatories to the Agreement is under way. Launched on July 31, 2016 in the province of Nord-Ubangi, the enrollment continues and to date, the Electoral Central has already registered 40 million, one the largest record in the African Nations enrollment.
According to the CENI authorities, it would have been possible to exceed the current figure if the Greater Kasai area had not experienced serious security problems due to the Kamwina Nsapu phenomenon.
Security situation in The Kasai:
The Kamwina Nsapu phenomenon has completely destroyed society through a local customary conflict that has been badly negotiated and transformed into terrorism of an unprecedented kind since the Democratic Republic of Congo’s accession to independence. Offices and symbols of the state, schools, medical centers, markets, churches and other places of worship have been destroyed, pushing people to refuge in other provinces of the country and abroad (Angola).
This chaotic situation led the head of state to take measures to restore security, including the establishment of a special military operation area. He also traveled personally to Kananga, Mbuji-Mayi and Tshikapa, in order to consolidate peace and rebuilding local populations.
The results obtained during these visits by the Head of State initiated a conference on peace in this region of Congo. In the meantime, to combat impunity, trials aimed at all the perpetrators of crimes are underway, including in Kananga and Mbuji-Mayi, including those suspected of the assassination of two United Nations experts.
Third, The Diplomatic Action:
The serious abuses committed against human rights and caused by terrorism in the Kasaian space prompted certain partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take unilateral sanctions against civilian and military figures in flagrant violation of the laws and regulations governing International relations.
These partners have come to demand an independent international investigation in addition to these sanctions.
Rejecting this approach, the authorities of the DRC naturally undertook a campaign of explanation with the people concerned, as well as with the member states of the African Union.
On the occasion of the 35th session of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva from 6 to 23 June 2017, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the support of several African States and others, the commission instructed to investigate the events of the Kasai.
In addition, Congolese diplomacy received decisive support from African Union member states on the issue of US and European sanctions against officials at the 29th Summit of the Continental Organization held on 3 and 4 July in Addis -Ababa, to which President Joseph Kabila has actively participated.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is respectful of the instruments of international law to which it is attached. In its resolutions, the Security Council has always reaffirmed its firm commitment to the sovereignty and independence of the DRC and to the principle of non-interference
Fourth, SADC and OUA:
Fourth, The Southern African Development Community countries (SADC) and the Organization for African Unity (OAU) have agreed in their meeting in Pretoria that it was not possible for DRC to hold the elections this year. According to Daily Maverick News, the SADC leaders, in their communique’ indulgently “noted the challenges that have made it unrealistic for the DRC to hold elections in December 2017 as originally planned and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) to publicize the revised electoral calendar in consultation with the Government and the National Council for Monitoring the Implementation of the Agreement (CNSA) of 31st December, 2016. While some of the political tension of Congo can be resolved, there are some that remain out of control and require the government to play a pivotal role, to secure the security of their citizens. Therefore looking on those insecurities in both Kasais and some in the different cities of several provinces, everything has been delayed in the enrollment process for the elections. The Organization of Africa Unity nations agrees with SADC, in order for the DRC to do the elections, the enrollment process must be done in all the provinces and the security must be completely installed in the country.
Fifth: In the conclusion, the Democratic Implications:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo like any other country in the globe thrives to respect its democratic elected institutions and highest law of the land which is none other than the constitution. It’s in this line of thoughts that President Joseph Kabila remains in office until a new president is elected and inaugurated. This principle is not foreign to any democracy regardless of its particular realities. The conflicting interpretation of the constitution especially coming from those who think President Joseph Kabila shouldn’t remaining in office until a new President is elected and inaugurated is politically irresponsible given the enormous danger an unstable Democratic Republic of Congo could pause to the central African region stability. Furthermore, pushing an idea of a transitional President in lieu of President Kabila will be engaging the country, regional and international communities into financial disinvestments since all efforts are already been made towards the upcoming elections.
Dr. Flavien Shirandi
Listen below to the interview: