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Urgent Appeal for a Peaceful Democratic Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Urgent Appeal for a Peaceful Democratic Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

As African leaders committed to democracy, we are deeply concerned about the political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which represents a threat to the stability, prosperity and peace of the Great Lakes region, and indeed for Africa as a whole.

We feel obliged to sound the alarm before it is too late.

The failure to organise elections in late 2016, in conformity with the constitution of the DRC, has created an acute political crisis.

The agreement between the Government and the Opposition reached on New Year’s Eve under the aegis of the Conference of Bishops (CENCO) averted a disaster, but its implementation faces increasing difficulties that jeopardise the process intended to lead to peaceful elections this year.

Both the spirit and the letter of the agreement are not being respected thereby endangering a non-violent political transition, which we believe s vital for the future stability and prosperity of the DRC.

Elections with integrity are the only peaceful strategy possible for resolving the crisis of legitimacy besetting the Congo’s institutions.

The Government of the DRC and the international community must afford the election commission all the resources necessary to organise the elections within the time-frame set by the agreement

We urge the DRC’s political leaders to put the national interest first.

The Congolese people, already scarred by decades of autocratic rule, followed by years of civil war, aspires to peace, development and the respect of its human rights, which include the fundamental right to participatory government.

This crisis affects first and foremost the lives and livelihoods of our Congolese brothers and sisters. But left unresolved the crisis will have continental implications.

The future of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in grave danger.

We call therefore on the President and other Congolese leaders to redouble efforts to fully implement the New Year’s Eve agreement in good faith so as to restore trust between the parties and to ensure free, credible and peaceful elections by the end of the year.

Kofi ANNAN
Former Secretary-General of the UN

Thomas BONI YAYI
Former Pres. of the Republic of Benin

John KUFUOR
Former Pres. of the Republic of Ghana

John MAHAMA
Former Pres. of the Republic of Ghana

Thabo MBEKI
Former Pres. of the Republic of South Africa

Benjamin MKAPA
Former Pres. of the United Repub. of Tanzania

Festus MOGAE
Former Pres. of the Republic of Botswana

Olusegun OBASANJO
Former Pres. of the Federal Repub. of Nigeria

Pedro PIRES
Former Pres. of the Republic of Cabo Verde

Cassam UTEEM
Former Pres. of the Republic of Mauritius