Pope Francis and the CENCO weighed heavily for the end of the political mess!
With 95% of the work done, of which the remaining 5% is to be devoted to the finalization of the agreement, everything is within our reach, the Archbishop of Kisangani and President of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO ), Marcel Utembi. Three days earlier, on December 21, 2016, this prince of the Roman Curia addressed the participants in the interdiocesan dialogue in these pathetic terms: “I would now like to convey to you a personal message from the Holy Father, Pope Francis . Since the Catholic Church of the DRC has embarked on this mission of good offices, the Pope mobilizes the universal Church to pray for the DRC. On Sunday 18 December the Pope asked all the faithful of the world to pray that the political dialogue in the DRC should take place in a “serenity to avoid any kind of violence” and lead to “good for the country”. On Monday, at the private audience he gave us, the Holy Father reassured us in these words: “I am concerned about what is happening in your country that I want to visit at the right time. I pray for the Congolese people and the responsibility in the search for the well-being of the population. I assure the Congolese people of my spiritual closeness and bless them. ”
Let us replant the scenery of this foggy Congolese political landscape. From 19 to 21 January 2015, violent riots broke out in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, following the controversial electoral law debated in Parliament. On 12 February 2015, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) made public the overall electoral calendar, which complied with the constitutional deadlines. Following the example of the partial electoral calendar published the previous year, this restrictive chronogram was rejected as a whole, paradoxically, by the Congolese Opposition and a fringe of the international community which had demanded it to the horn and cry. On 1 June 2015, the President of the Republic, Joseph Kabila, gave the go-ahead of the presidential consultations for the holding of the dialogue at the Palais de la Nation. On November 28, 2015, Joseph Kabila convened the national inclusive political dialogue by way of Order. The controversy has been engaged, for months, on international mediation or facilitation between the parties involved in the failed electoral process. At the same time, the President of the Commission of the African Union (AU) appointed former Togolese Prime Minister Edem Kodjo, Facilitator of Congolese Dialogue. At the end of March 2016, the UN Security Council invited, through Resolution 2277, Congolese actors to inclusive dialogue and respect for the Constitution. Notwithstanding the involvement of the international community, political unrest continued. At the end of July 2016, cross meetings drew immense crowds: the presidential mobility at the Tata Raphael stadium and the Rassemblement made in Genval on the Boulevard Triomphal in Kinshasa. And the start of the operation of enlistment of the voters in the North-Ubangi province.
From 1 September to 18 October 2016, the inclusive National Political Dialogue of the African Union City had put the Presidential Majority, the Pro-Dialogue Opposition and a fringe of civil society and religious denominations around a table, Under the facilitation of Edem Kodjo and the international support of the UN, the AU, the EU, the OIF, the SADC and the ICGLR. At the end of the work, the political agreement of the City of the AU was born. Unfortunately, a new outbreak of violence occurred in Kinshasa between 19 and 21 September. Many casualties ! Pursuant to the spirit and letter of the agreement, Augustin Matata Ponyo handed over his chair to Prime Minister Samy Badibanga, Chairman of the UDPS parliamentary group and Allies in the National Assembly, from the ranks of the Opposition or even the Rassemblement Co-founder since Genval, a suburb of Brussels (Belgium). The Congolese people as a whole welcomed the appointment of this worthy son of the country. Hence, the impressive crowd at the Palais du Peuple at the inauguration of the Badibanga government on Thursday, December 22, 2016. Like a good shepherd who, having 99 sheep in the enclosure, President Joseph Kabila resorted to the good offices of the Catholic Bishops in order to bring back to the dialogue boat the radicalized fringe of the Opposition, in this case the Rally led by Patriarch Etienne Tshisekedi of the UDPS and The Front for the Respect of the Constitution led by Eve Bazaïba of the MLC. Curiously, these politicians no longer demanded international mediation and did not refer to the famous Resolution 2277 at the start of these direct discussions. Thanks to the professionalism of the forces of order, the apocalypse predicted by the prophets of the misfortunes did not take place on this “fateful date” of December 19, 2016.