DRC: Opposition form a united front against President Joseph Kabila

June 13, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Byobe Malenga

Despite some absences, most of the Congolese opposition decided to unite in a new structure called “Rally” on the night of Thursday to Friday near Brussels. It requires the departure at the end of the year of President Joseph Kabila.

“Whatever the circumstances the country is going to live, we are close to victory,” said, before a hundred delegates of the opposition and civil society from Congolese history, opponent Etienne Tshisekedi, closing the conclave in Genval, about twenty kilometers from the Belgian capital.

 

Tshisekedi at the head of the “wise men”

The agreement of the opposition parties was announced after two days of secret meetings behind closed doors, sometimes tense, launched at the initiative of Tshisekedi, president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS). The text “Act of commitment,” plans to unite the opposition forces in the “Rally” to lead the struggle of the Congolese people in the service of alternation and the rule of law.

A Committee of Wise Men under the direction of Etienne Tshisekedi will be responsible, with the assistance of a technical body to coordinate the action of the opposition, which had so far failed to form a united front against Joseph Kabila.

Denouncing the constitutional coup that would be the remaining in power of Joseph Kabila beyond the end of its mandate on 19 December, the signatories demanded the organization of a presidential election before that date.

 

Appeal to the international community

They also called for the full implementation of Resolution 2277 of the UN Security Council. This emphasizes the need for an open political dialogue, allowing the holding of presidential and legislative elections by November 2016, according to the Constitution, a deemed irresponsible position taken by Kinshasa.

The participants in the conclave call for a panel of representatives of the international community (UN, International Francophone Organization, European Union, United States) to support the Special Envoy of the African Union (AU) in DR Congo, the former Togolese Prime Minister Edem Kodjo, they consider too close to the government.

 

Katumbi councilors present

They also pose a series of requirements, such as the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, or stopping and dropping tax hassles, administrative, police and any arbitrary judicial proceedings against member’s opposition and civil society.

“If there is no will power, we have no gift to him,” said one of the main participants, the Secretary-General of the Union for Congolese Nation (UNC) the third great force of opposition in the national Assembly, Jean-Bertrand Ewanga. “This is a victory to have imagined the unification of the opposition. This new complicity will allow us to move forward,” he added.

But if Ewanga signed the agreement in his personal capacity, the leader of his party, Vital Kamerhe, was conspicuously absent from this meeting. Similarly, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo of Jean-Pierre Bemba had not sent a delegation. Both men, however, are part of the coalition “Dynamics of the opposition”, which was represented, including by Martin Fayulu. Some absenchowever seems a particular worry of a possible recovery of the gathering of Moses Katumbi.

The former governor of Katanga has certainly not made an appearance, but the G7, a group of seven past parties supporting his candidacy for president was represented at the highest level and was very active in the discussions. Charged with endangering state security, Katumbi left the DR Congo to South Africa on 20 May, officially for medical treatment before leaving for Europe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Byobe Malenga

I have worked with the media (written and spoken press) for several years in various fields such as production of commercials, jingles, magazines, newspapers and other emissions. I have capitalized on the valuable experience of working with foreign radio in areas of partnership, social mobilization around water points, the setting-up of committees, etc.

I am currently working with the BBC World Service as a freelancer in Swahili, for Radio, TV and online. In addition to this I am also the officer manager and multimedia journalist at Radio Ngoma ya Amani RNA-FIZI www.rnafizi.net, as well as Editor of the newspaper ‘Journal Des Rapatries’.

I have already participated in several reporting missions on behalf of several radio stations such as Radio Television Groupe d’Avenir- Kinshasa as well as numerous training missions, animation workshops and support as the strategic planning and operational. I have already made several trips to Africa taking in Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, the Republic of central Africa and the Congo Brazza.

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