The G7 maintains, against all odds and ends, the course towards the elections to be held no later than the end of December 2017. If the elections are not organised at this time, the G7 will require the CENI to organise elections under the supervision of the United Nations since there will be no legitimate institution . The G7 also demands the unconditional return of President Moise Katumbi and reaffirms that he is its candidate for the next presidential election. The G7 will not accept a third dialogue. For there is nothing to negotiate. Exceeded on 31 July 2017, without, first, that the CENI closed the identification and enlistment operations and published the electoral calendar; And, on the other hand, without the Government having implemented the measures of decriminalisation, the G7, With all the political and social organisations, actions of popular mobilisation and civic disobedience, in accordance with Article 64 of the Constitution “. That is the essence of the G7 statement on the issues of the day. Pierre Lumbi Okongo, Chairman-in-Office of this Political Platform member of the Rally of Political and Social Forces Acquired for Change, returned in particular on the importance of the full and immediate implementation of the Agreement of 31 December 2016 concluded at the Inter diocesan Center , Under the auspices of the Bishops, and to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2348. He also stressed the need for a rapid deterioration of the political climate and the urgency required,
G7 PRESS BRIEFING ON POLITICAL CHALLENGES IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS,
Our last meeting at the G7 headquarters dates back to 23 February 2017. A long moment of silence would say, but a truce voluntarily observed by the G7 to give the chance to the political negotiations on the particular Arrangement which was to define the practical modalities Of implementation of the Political and Global Agreement of 31 December 2016.
But alas, Joseph Kabila and his allies, more than ever determined to block the organisation of the elections and to destroy everything, found no better way than to have a special unfinished and distorted agreement signed on 27 April 2017, Absence of the Rally of the political and social forces gained from change and of the CENCO, mediator appointed. What is worse, this fraudulent arrangement even modified the Agreement in its essential clauses relating to the appointment of the Prime Minister and the appointment of the President of the National Council for the follow-up of the Agreement and the electoral process, CNSA.
Moreover, the recent interview of Joseph Kabila in the German newspaper De Spiegel dispelled any ambiguity about his rejection of the agreement of 31 December 2016 and demonstrated that he is not a reliable interlocutor. He does not respect the Constitution, the laws of the Republic, the agreements signed in good faith, or its own word.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS,
There is no need to recall that the Comprehensive and Inclusive Political Agreement of 31 December 2016 appeared to all not only as a significant step forward in the direction of the peaceful settlement of the political crisis artificially created by Joseph Kabila. But also as a real hope for the holding of truly democratic elections before the end of this year.
This agreement, which brought down the extreme tension that prevailed in our country on December 19, 2016, the date of the end of the second and last term of President Joseph Kabila, was won not only by the entire Congolese people but also by the international community, as reflected in resolution 2348, voted unanimously by its UN Security Council, the declarations of the African Union, the European Union, the United States of America and, Appeal launched on 15 June by Mr Kofi Annan and nine former African Heads of State.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS,
The current political impasse is developing against the backdrop of state failure, economic degradation and the accelerated degradation of the living conditions of the Congolese people.
In this regard, in order to take only the most palpable indicators, you can make the following rather unpleasant observation:
Already endemic to the east of the country, insecurity reached its climax in the centre, with the tragedy of the great Kasai and caused, in one year, thousands of deaths, including two United Nations experts, and forced more than one Million of Congolese to internal displacement and exile in Angola;
In this regard, the G7 supports the idea of an independent international inquiry into the atrocities committed in the great Kasai and especially those committed in Central Kasaï.
The massive and cascading escapes of prisoners known in recent times in Kinshasa, Central Kongo Province and North Kivu have only confirmed the absence of state authority and the failure of prison policies Of the Kabila regime;
The Congolese franc depreciated strongly against the US dollar and is worth 1,500 francs against 930 at the same time last year, representing a depreciation of more than 55% in one year. According to the IMF forecast, in December of this year, a US dollar will be worth 2,000 FC, representing a depreciation of more than 100% compared to the October 2016 rate. The annual growth rate of the national economy of 7 % In December 2016 will not exceed 4% at the end of the current year, according to the most optimistic forecasts. Food and fuel prices increased by about 25% from last January. Foreign exchange reserves can no longer cover up to 2 to 3 weeks of imports, while government revenues are falling freely.
Under the combined effect of the contraction of state resources, monetary depreciation and inflation, not only have the salaries of government agents and officials become more insignificant, and arrears are accumulating more and more. More so in the public and para-public sector for up to 5 months, but also, the purchasing power of populations has decreased by at least 30% in the last six months.
Worsening the decay of road, health and school infrastructure;
The social tension is barely veiled in the DRC, especially in cities where about 80% of young people are unemployed;
The new provinces, set up in a hurry, became the focus of financial malpractices and permanent political tensions. This is reflected in the number of motions of distrust against provincial governors.
This dark picture is the logical consequence of a disastrous management of the country which has characterised the Kabila regime particularly during its last mandate.
Thus, by the sole will of Joseph Kabila and his extended political family, the DRC is plunged in a double crisis of governance and legitimacy of its leaders which sets the scene for the eventual outbreak of another civil war And a chaos whose consequences will only weaken national cohesion and compromise civil peace, the stability of its institutions and all its chances of socio-economic development.
Faced with such a high level of misery and suffering of the people, destruction of the State and such a grave threat to stability and peace:
– How can one remain deaf and insensitive?
– How can we continue to believe that everything is going well?
– How can we continue to lock ourselves into a strategy of the worst?
– How can the current regime show such carelessness?
– And finally, what is the purpose of political action for those who govern us?
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS,
As far as we are concerned, the G7 will not give anyone the opportunity or the alibi to precipitate our country in such a gloomy abyss that it is not obvious that it will come out before long.
The G7 will not allow the Presidential Majority and Allies to continue its Machiavellian policy of scorched earth and wicked destruction of the Republic.
In this respect, the G7 wishes to emphasise that in a democratic regime, the crisis of governance and legitimacy can only be resolved by arbitration by the People, through free, pluralistic, inclusive, transparent and credible elections Terms and deadlines set by the Constitution.
The holding of these elections is therefore the priority and ultimate objective to be achieved by all to end political tensions, curb the deterioration of the security, economic and social situation and recreate the confidence of both the People and the external partners of the DRC.
For the G7, the New Sylvester Agreement remains the only ideal and consensual framework for holding such elections thanks to the coherent normative and institutional framework agreed by all stakeholders. This goal can not be achieved, nor will it be possible to organise good elections by applying a variable geometry or saving the clauses of the Agreement.
Therefore, in order to avoid chaos in the DRC, the G7 was actively involved in the Gathering calling on the UN Secretary-General to use its good offices in accordance with paragraph 7 of Resolution 2348 ( 2017) so that all parties to the Agreement of 31 December 2016 execute it in full and in good faith.
However, pending the successful completion of the good offices of the Secretary General of the UN and not falling into the trap of Mr. Joseph Kabila who uses all the dilatory tricks to postpone elections to the Greek calendars, the G7 considers that any In seeking the full implementation of the December 31, 2016 Accord, the Rallying of Political and Social Forces for Change should set the stage for elections.
Let us understand each other well in this respect. The G7 does not advocate elections under any conditions.
On the contrary. The G7 believes that there can be credible and genuinely democratic elections only under the conditions and with the guarantees provided for in the 31 December 2016 Agreement:
The application of all agreed political desegregation measures to ensure equal treatment and equal opportunity for all candidates. These measures include:
The release of political detainees and public opinion, such as Franck Diongo, Jean Claude Muyambo, Huit Mulongo, Saa Sita and his fellow prisoners from Goma and dozens of other detainees in Katanga and Kinshasa
The lifting of all kinds of obstacles to the political activities of the parties and leaders of the Rally, we particularly think of President Gabriel Kyungu wa Kumwanza,
The end of the duplication of the Opposition’s political parties, the reopening of private media close to the Opposition, and the access of public media to all currents of thought,
Respect for fundamental rights and freedoms,
The end of all administrative, police and fiscal harassment against members of the Opposition;
And the end of the unfounded legal proceedings against Moise Katumbi Chapwe as requested by the CENCO and its unconditional and unconditional return to the country,
To follow Minister Thambwe’s statements at his press conference held on June 19, 2017 in Geneva, it is still possible, ladies and gentlemen of the press, to doubt Joseph Kabila’s determination to remove Moses Katumbi from the race for Presidency of the Republic. In this regard, it is still curious that it is only today that the strategists of the Presidential Majority discover that Moise Katumbi would have dual nationality when he was elected National Deputy, Provincial Deputy and Governor of the province Of the Katanga he led for 10 years. And even then, In any case, the statements of Minister Thambwe confirm that Mr. Kabila’s regime has only contempt for international institutions and human rights.
In addition to the measures of desecration,
The closure of the identification and enlistment of voters by 31 July 2017, in accordance with the commitment made by CENI at the beginning of last year (2016). The cases of the provinces which have not completed on time and for objective reasons the enrolment of the voters will have to be examined in the joint consultation framework CENI – political parties civil society;
Publication of the electoral calendar by the CENI before 31 July 2017;
Audit and revitalisation of CENI in order to strengthen its independence and impartiality and improve its financial and technical management . It is important to note that the Rassemblement is not represented in the national and provincial bodies of the CENI. These organs are composed only of the delegates of the ruling coalition and the civil society of its obedience;
The strengthening of the MONUSCO system and the wider deployment of troops across the country to secure electoral operations and candidates alongside the National Police;
The effective release of resources promised by external partners, in particular within the framework of the PACEC;
The more formal and binding involvement of the United Nations and the OIF in the monitoring of the electoral process according to their own mechanisms and on the basis of their previous experiences;
Assistance in building the capacity of observers from credible civil society organisations and their deployment in sufficient numbers throughout the national territory;
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS ,
There is no doubt that Joseph Kabila is the only obstacle to the organisation of free, transparent, inclusive and credible elections for democratic alternation in the DRC, while the mandates of all members of the Institutions have already expired.
That said, here is a summary of the G7’s position in five points:
The G7 did not agree to enter the government set up on the basis of a fraudulent arrangement because, failing to comply with the provisions of the Agreement, it refused, for the same reason, to participate in the CNSA being set up ;
The G7 maintains, against all odds and ends, the course towards the elections to be held no later than December 2017. It should be emphasised that if the elections were not organised at this time, the following consequences will be drawn:
– Elections will be held without Kabila;
– The G7 will require that the CENI organise the elections under the supervision of the United Nations as there will be no legitimate institutions .
The G7 also demands the unconditional return of President Moise Katumbi and reaffirms that he is its candidate for the next presidential election;
The G7 will not accept a third dialogue because there is nothing left to negotiate;
Exceeded on 31 July 2017, without, first, that the CENI closed the identification and enlistment operations and published the electoral calendar; And on the other hand, without the Government implementing the measures of decriminalisation, the G7 will launch with all political and social organisations actions of popular mobilisation and civic disobedience, in accordance with Article 64 Of the Constitution.
Ladies and gentlemen ,
I can not end this press point without welcoming the appeal of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and the 9 former African Presidents, Pioneers of African Democracy.
Indeed, by their appeal of 15 June, they have just appealed to African leaders and reminded them that the democratic dynamic in which the peoples of Africa are committed is irreversible. Anyone who attempts to deviate from it will be suicidal.
For the G7,
Pierre Lumbi Okongo