Brussels, 20 September 2016/ ACP: The Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Louis Michel and Mr Netty Baldeh, express their deepest concern about the situation prevailing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 19 September 2016, the date of the convening of the electorate under Article 90 of the Constitution.
The worrying clashes during the peaceful demonstration that was authorised to take place in Kinshasa on 19 September have already led to a number of deaths, including that of a police officer who was burned alive and dozens of injured, including Members of the National Assembly, Martin Faluyu and Fabrice Puela. The Co-Presidents are extremely concerned and upset by this dramatic situation in the DRC. They express their full solidarity with the families of the victims.
They recall that civil society and the opposition must be able to play their full role, with due regard for fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of expression, assembly, association and opinion.
The Co-Presidents call on the Congolese authorities to perform their duties in strict compliance with the rule of law. They call on all political forces to exercise restraint, for a return to constitutional order, to the easing of tension and for an end to looting. They call on the Congolese authorities to organise a real and credible inter-Congolese dialogue with full representation of all the parties in order to establish a detailed timetable that leads without further delay to a transparent, free, peaceful and inclusive electoral process.
They believe that only a legitimately elected government, that meets the aspirations of the Congolese people, will be able to bring stability and to bring together all the driving forces of the DRC, enabling it to face the multiple security, humanitarian, governance and development challenges still affecting the country and the sub-region.
They recall their support for UN Security Council resolution 2277 that emphasises the importance of building consensus among all political players, civil society and religious communities and the principles of the African Charter of Democracy, Elections and Governance.
They further call for the need to avoid any hate speech and/or act, including with regard to representatives of the international community, as was the case with regard to Tom Perriello, Special Envoy of the United States to the Great Lakes region. Such acts would be likely to plunge the country into a serious political and humanitarian crisis that would add to the general instability of the Great Lakes region.
REF. : 20160920IPR43430