Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Statement on Congolese elections

Below is a statement released by a group of concerned individuals and organizations this morning, ahead of President Kabila's inauguration.


December 20, 2011
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, are deeply troubled by the lack of critical engagement that the international community has shown throughout the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Carter Center, the European Union, the Catholic Church and other national election observation organizations found that the elections held on November 28, 2011 were deeply flawed and marred by widespread irregularities. In order to prevent further violence and provide legitimacy to the government, we call on the United States and other members of the international community to take these immediate steps:
1) State clearly that they do not perceive the election results as legitimate and call on President Kabila to delay his inauguration ceremony until steps are taken to address these serious allegations. If the inauguration proceeds as scheduled, the United States and other international missions should consider non-attendance or at a minimum send a lower ranking diplomatic officer instead of the Ambassador.
2) Immediately ask for the deployment of an independent international mediation commission formed under international and regional auspices. The Commission will have a mandate to review the technical aspects of the electoral process and facilitate a solution to the crisis.
3) Call on the appropriate authorities to immediately halt the counting of the parliamentary election ballots until clear guarantees are put in place to ensure the credibility of the tallying process.
4) Make clear statements that the U.S. and other members of the international community are determined to ensure accountability for perpetrators of electoral and post-electoral violence in the appropriate international or national fora. Call on Congolese state security forces, in particular the Republican Guard, to cease immediately all abuses against civilians.
The following organizations and individuals support this statement:
Eastern Congo Initiative
Enough
Humanity United
International Crisis Group
Open Society Foundations
Anthony W. Gambino,
Fellow, Eastern Congo Initiative
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele,
Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution
Jason Stearns

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too much money involve for them to hear you

Anonymous said...

Execellent initiative. But can anyone explain where those 20.000 soldiers are coming from? My congolese friends in Kin say that they are foreigners mixed with congolese. so, why over and over this silence for the foreign military presence in the DRC wether it is in Kin or the East. And maybe knowing where they come from might explain how benefits and helps this amazing but expected fraud.

Jeansy Kazadi said...

I fully support this initiative to save the democratic process in DRC.

Anonymous said...

Kabila must know that you cannot rule people against his will, that is called dictatorship.If I were him I would like to write the last chapter of my presidency in due form in order to reduce the stale taste already present in the Congo and elsewhere.THE WORLD IS WATCHING.

Anonymous said...

Most of the above mentioned organizations or individuals were formed by poor sponsors from abroad to make awareness of rape and blood mineral in Congo, however it was a surprise to me to see them turning in to Congolese own Politics!

That is just a pretending action to say that "we have been saying so but no body listened to us" in case something bad happened.

Kabila was lucky that there was no a strong candidate against him, Tshisekedi is an empty drum - I can not even appoint him to be a class monitor let alone to be a president of a great nation like DRCongo.

Now Kabila already sworn in,he has the power as he has said any one who needs a better Congo must work with him peace fully.

The most Powerful nations like America, England,France,SA,China,Russia have been represented their representatives on the swearing ceremony of Kabila, that means he is acknowledged to be a President.
Lets put the election problems on bed and we see Kabila what he will do for the next 5 years.

Any way congratulation Kabila!

Nokia
Goma

Richard Mwamba said...

The west had Patrice Lumumba as their ennemy No.1 because he stood up and spoke in favor of human developpment in Congo. They assassinated him because the only thing he wanted was to free his people and see a prosperous Congo emerge as a strong nation, a democratic nation and a free nation. Before him, the west had Simon Kimbangu in their radar because he denounced the unhuman treatments of his people by the belgium colonial kings. He was killed because he preached for equality, human dignity and respect for human life. Then they had courage in the middle of the 21st century, to kill Laurent Desire Kabila because he preached for true independance of Congo. He was killed because he said no to USA, France, UK and Belgium for allowing their companies to illegally exploit congolese minerals, support rebel movements and distroy our nation. He was killed because he stood against the will of the west which desires not to see a more independant Congo. Today they want to do the same thing with our last hope Etienne Tshisekedi. The only difference this time is that they don't have Tshisekedi on their radar, but they must also include a multitude of all congolese, more than 60 millions inside Congo and 8 millions outside Congo. No ostage can last forever and we says: you can fight an army, you can fight a man but you can't fight a Nation. We shall fight these forces of evil in this generation and the generations to come. This war they have imposed on us, will be long and with the help of our natural forces we will prevail.

Anonymous said...

For today, December 20, 2011 I can understand osama bin laden and I agree, understand and will be supporting the Iran position to have a nuclear wapon,. I can never be against them due to this selective democracy of Western countries.

(@EmWatu on twitter) said...

any post-inauguration update/response to your request? (@EmWatu on twitter)

World leaders didnt come to Kabila's oath Dec.20th, 2011 (only Mugabe came!!):

http://storyful.com/stories/​1000016475

Richard Mwamba said...

Nokia, shame on you. Reason why you support Kabila is for all these illegal mining contracts you've signed with him. Let me remind you that Congo is a great nation and someone like you doesn't deserve to even visit this Nation. Remember, the blood money you're making in Congo through illegal activities, will one day hunt you. The spirit of our martyrs will claim your soul any time soon. You will be miserable now and you off-spring for generations to come. You don't know the Congo story, the Tshisekedi story. You don't know this man and you better shut your mouth. Ask yourself this question: Why has the west fought this man for more than 30 years? Why does the west prefer Kabila, someone who has never completed his secondary school, someone who only recites words but never speaks them, someone who can't qualify for a post of security guard in the west? Why does the west hate Tshisekedi? Why did they organize massive fraud in this election? Why did they proclaim Kabila victor even before the elections via the western media? There is no celebration of Kabila's victory in the streets of Congo! What victory has never been celebrated? Why is there state of emergency in Congo on the eve of the so-called inauguration of Kabila? Continue to steal our minerals, never pay taxes, give only bonuses to Kabila, your dirty hands will be your only witnesses. Despite of the wealth Congo has, because of people like you, Congo is listed 187th on human developpment list, what a contrast!

Anand said...

Thank you all for issuing this statement in the form of a unified front. I sincerely hope your efforts lead to the addressing of the DRC election problem.

Anonymous said...

The international system has changed considerably since the Cold War when the US, France, Belgium, and the UK were adroitly played by Mobutu to achieve his objectives. Today, Beijing and Pretoria are the new powers to contend with and their influence has marginalized western governments in terms of economic and political influence. As long as these governments are satisfied with the status quo in Kinshasa...and it seems likely they are, there is little western governments can do even if they wanted to. This is the new reality in the international system. No doubt this has occurred to the Kabila government and has entered into its calculations; Congolese civil society will also have to adjust to this new reality as well.
This petition at least addresses the concerns of groups and individuals who care about what happens in Congo. I hope it helps, but ultimately the Congolese will have to construct their own destiny.

Anonymous said...

this shift in influence is critical, i think, to forming a correct estimation of what kinds of carrots and sticks the west can offer. congo and its relationship to the west is undergoing a change that the west itself does not appear yet to appreciate fully.

Anonymous said...

China and South Africa so called influence is an overstatement. Recent events in Cote d'Ivoire and Libya have showed that South Africa is trying to punch above its weight but doesn't have France or the UK diplomatic clout. At the end of the day, the USA and EU still run the show.
Kabila's regime has survived because of the West tacit support. One example in point: following J Carson testimony at the US Senate, the Congolese government moved swiftly to implement recommendations on elections. I am convinced that some African head of states cancelled their swearing-in ccancellation after a frank conversation with someone at the US State Department or the French foreign ministry. There is a new world order but the shift is taking place at a slower pace than most people think.

Anonymous said...

God bless you,for issuing this statement , as an American citizen whose mother is Congolese, I am ashamed of my government's position on this... Where is our commitment to democracy , arecwevthat shortsighted no to see that our aspirations are no different than that of our brothers in Congo, the US has undermined its credibility , shame on us...

Anonymous said...

OMG ;-) Such illusions of grandeur. Unelected individuals and organizations making demands. How many congolese do you represent? Yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:19, don't underestimate the power of public opinion. Sec. of State Clinton issued a news release today condemning the Supreme Court for not taking the time to review the opposition's case. That just goes to show that actions such as these have a great deal of impact on US' foreign policy. They not only welcome those recommendations, they encourage them as they help inform their actions.

Jason, thank you for adding your voice to that of your colleagues to help the helpless and give hope to the many hopeless who are being terrorized by the installation of another dictatorship in the DRC.

Lusamba

Anonymous said...

I recommend this very good analysis by James Traub on foreignpolicy.com.

"Botched Elections: Why even failed elections are good for democracy" by James Traub

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/12/16/the_botched_ballot

"Sometimes elections -- even failed elections -- have to come first because they provide the liberatory spark that allows people to free themselves from the autocratic grip."

I have made the following point previously on this platform: What happened in Congo's elections is not Armageddon. It is a botched election on the long journey toward building a stable democratic state. I don't subscribe to the view that, because of these botched elections, somehow all hope is lost and now Congolese institutions have somehow to be placed under UN tutelage. Kabila, cheating or not, cannot take away the democratic gains that Congo has made on that journey since the early 90s (e.g., a vibrant press and a ubber active civil society, when compared to neighboring states). Yes, these are gains that need to be protected, but these botched elections do not represent a fatal threat to those gains. Let's keep things into perspective.

Anonymous said...

@Richard Mwamba, you shal be ashamed of your self by trying to compare PATRICE LUMUMBA to a man who as Mobutu's Justice minister (E CHISEKEDI), ordered and signed the death of LUMUMBA .this is an insult to the Congoles people and a big insult to LUMUMBA. But sins your last name is Mwamba I understand were you coming from and trying to have a serious debate with you is just a wast of time. Trying to compare CHISEKEDI to LUMUMBA is like comparing OSAMA BIN LADEN to the Fire filters who died on 9/11.again shame on you. It is time for you Lubas from kasai to understand that while CHISEKEDI may be a God ,a saint or a profet...For the ether 300+ethnic groups that makes up the CONGO ,Chisekedi is nothing but an old arrogant ,irresponsible, umpatriotic Politician who's agenda and his friend Mobutu got us where we are right now. and I believe the only reason why you are fighting so hard advocating for CHISEKEDI is because like you he is an ethnic LUBA from Kasai.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 20 Dec 8:55 PM

You're such a waste of sperm. Your father'd have done better just sleeping that night...

Norbert X Mbu-Mputu said...

I believe strongly that the main problem for the Congo and the Congolese is that they do not have any godfather or any clear and real mentor for the democracy and human rights; and they do not have any strong voice speak out about them. Could we organise an Conference, a special Congo issues talks, by inviting those British journalists, writers, human rights activists who could raise and speak out clearly for the Congolese poor population?... How Congolese news and information and abuse and frauds are not well reported by the medias?... Where is this big dark wall?... What could we do really?...
Look, Catholic bishops came before the elections and they stated that everything is ready for the trouble; who listened to them?... Who forced the regime to calm down?... Why the MONUSCO has not been at the side of the population to avoid atrocities?...
Could we dream to have that king of Congo issues Conference?... With the aim only to speak out about the Congo!...
Norbert X, Newport

Anonymous said...

To anonymous : December 20, 2011 8:55

I will second what anonymous : December 21st, 2011 12:41AM, said about you in a very colourful way.

You must be a mental midget “provocateur” to say stupidities like these; the Belgium parliament had an inquiry a few years ago into the death of the national heroe Lumumba. Nowhere in their findings does the name of Tshisekedi come up as a guilty party, the “Conference Nationale Souveraine” did a similar inquiry with the same results. A few months after Independence and before Lumumba’s death, do you know who the Justice Minister, certainly not Tshisekedi was? In early 1960, he was a deputy commissioner under the then minister of Justice Mr. Lihau in Mobutu's government of “Commisaires
Generaux”, not the Minister of Justice as you claim.
Please do your homework before coming out with nonsense stories like this, that is if you can. It must be your deep seated hatred and your deep complex of the Luba people that makes you talk like this and by the way how do you know that Richard Mwamba is Luba. You can find the Mwamba name in other ethnic groups in the Bandundu, in Zambia, Angola and even in South Africa. Almost 15 years after the fall of Mobutu, you are still blaming him for the 3 invasions of the DRC by Rwanda ( AFDL 1997, RCD early 2000’s and CNDP late 2000’S) with the help of the ones in power today, the poor index of governance (50th out 53 countries in Africa), the poor index of development (187th country out of 187). A member of the British parliament put out a report before the elections showing that 5 billions dollars were lost to the DRC treasury in the mining sector because of shadowy business deals based on quick backs, is it of Mobutu’s doing. A United Nations report says that there were 188 cases of human rights violations by JK’s security forces in a 2 weeks period during the electoral campaign. The list of nonsense is so long that any thinking person can see that something is dramatically wrong in the DRC. It is your myopic way of thinking that is the real tragedy for the DRC.

Bismark

Anonymous said...

@Anon 7:48pm; I'm assuming you consider yourself to be an intellectual, a thinker, right? Please re-read your post and the FP piece you're refering to. I'm sure you will realise how skewed and illogical it is to pretend that a botched election is exactly what the DRC needs today. Especially if you base your argument on the pretense that anything - including a fraudulent election - is better than an autocratic state, which is PRECISELY the case in that country. How else can you explain the more than 20 000 troops and police in full gear, the tanks, the repression, the adbuctions, assassinations etc???Please stop offering cynical, simplistic solutions to a complex, multifaceted problem. It reeks of paternalism, it is anachronic, patronising and I would even go as far as to say it is plain RACIST. Westerners would never tolerate anything but credible, free, transparent and fair elections for themselves. What's good for the goose is good for the gander!
Enough with this cynical (sinister) double-standard.
Lusamba

Anonymous said...

@Lusamba 8:56 AM
Take a deep breath. You are certainly not the only one, of the people posting on this page, who cares about the Congo and democracy in the Congo. Insults do not make for good arguments.

You miss the point of the FP piece. The main point was that, in the journey toward democracy, sometimes dictators are surprised by the consequences of botched elections, especially when those botched elections galvanize the public to be more vigilant and demanding of their political class. It may become too difficult for the dictator to cheat in the next elections. And that is a baby step, but a positive step, toward building an electoral democratic culture.

Unless you equate Congo to Kinshasa (which many people are known to do), things are not as bad as you portray them to be. Checkout the pulse in the other provinces.

Relax.

Anonymous said...

Saying that a botched election leading to an uproar from the citizens will make it more difficult the next time around for the dictator to cheat is a possibility but it is difficult to accept given the tract record of seating head of states in Africa. Of all the elections held in Africa since the independence days, how many seating presidents have lost elections that they had organized and planned? A dictator will impose his will through the institutions of the state by changing the constitution for example, by repression, by appointing his bodies to the Supreme Court and so on. I do not know if it is possible to develop an electoral democratic culture in a “cloaked” dictatorship. As far as the pulse in the other provinces there is no partying in the streets after this victory even where people voted at 99% for #3, Soldiers are in the streets of most major cities terrorizing the citizens, no SMS communication, the cheapest way for the citizens to communicate.
“Things are not as bad as you portray them” you said, but they are still bad as you seem to agree, I guess it is a question of degrees of bad.

Bismark

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15: I wasn't insulting you, rather, I was insulted by your arguments. I apologise if you took it personally, however, I stand by what I said. The 2006 elections were botched and accepted precisely because voters thought they would have a better chance the next time around. Guess what? The fraud is even more widespread and the repression more violent, the regime more arrogant. So much for uprooting an autocratic regime and installing an imperfect democracy!
p.s. the arguments are racist, paternalistic and patronising, not the person using them. The FP piece is anachronic because it is no longer relevant. In 2006 maybe...
Lusamba

Anonymous said...

@Bismark,if you think that the west cares about democracy you need think again . KAGAME,MUSEVENI,BLAISE COMPAORE, SASOU NGWESO ,MELES ZENAWI,THEODORE OBIANG NGEMA,...are among the most ruthless ,undemocratic,human right abusing dictators on the african continent, but they all are good friends of the west . When it comes to the Congo you need to understand that the rules are different . The only thing that matters to the west is our natural wealth. The only reason why all those fake statistics are being published about the Congo is because of the Chinese involvement in the mining sector .its all investors scare Congo bashing propaganda. Do you realy believe that SOMALIA,HAITI,SIERRA LEONE,CENTRAL AFRICA REPUBLIC,MADAGASCAR,SOUTH SOUDAN,....are all more developed and less corrupted and better places to do business than the DRC ? When it comes to the DRC,the west want nothing but an ether Mobutu( a drug addict leader who will look the atherway and let them take everything for free) the west wants a weak and bankrupt Congo that will be under theire supervision forever. If KABILA din't reject the British tuol oil predatory oil exploration contract and did not sing the big Chinese mining contracts, all this so called statistics and house of commons criticisms would've never happen and this elections will be called the second free and fare elections. and all the so called Congo Combattants would've been deported back to Kinshasa. I am not a KABILA nor a CHISEKEDI supporter but I believe a CHISEKEDI's victory was going to bring nothing but a nightmare to the Congo,and the army was not going to accept ...he is too old and he needs to retire .like it or not,KABILA victory is very important right now for to consolidate the peace. I just went to eastern Congo 12 months ago and I know wath I am talking about . Stability is more important than democracie.it took the west centuries to improve theire democratic systems and yet they are still imperfect, I stil remember Florida2000 (hanging chads, road blocks in some black areas, recounts....)

Anonymous said...

@Anon 5:54 AM
I find the stability argument very troubling: Mobutu ruled the DRC for a stable 32 years and is largely responsible for the non-existence of a functioning state. The notion that
- Tshisekedi is too old
- the army won't allow it
- his rule would be a nightmare for the DRC
can hardly disguise the fact that, as it stands, J Kabila has less legitimacy than 2006. It also cannot hide the fact that J Kabila 10-year rule has been a failure. Had he managed the country for the benefits of all congolese and not just his biological/tribal family and western corporations, he would have easily won a second legitmate term. You mention his oil deal with Caprikat/Fowhelp, instead of UK based Tullow Oil: this deal has poved bad for the DRC compared to Uganda's got a with the british company. I suspect this has to do with the fact that Uganda has a functioning state that can negotiate decent terms when the DRC has none. But then again, stability is more
important.

Anonymous said...

@ Bismark, sorry I was not dressing you on the 5:54 comment ,I was trying to respond to all the guys who thinks that the west has stolen the elections for KABILA or the west must support saint CHISEKEDI Wa MULUMBA .

Anonymous said...

@Anon 5:54 AM
As you have been to Eastern Congo , you could enlighten us on the dynamics there, why is it:
- Central government has been largely unable to pacify the area
- rebel groups can run successful mineral smuggling business with Kinshasa's blessing
- Antagonistic ethnic groups (Nandes/Tutsis in North Kivu for instance)
We all want peace and stability for the DRC. It is utterly debatable to argue that J Kabila is the man of the hour. If the past 10 year is any guide, he is not. Those in Eastern Congo who massived voted for him in 2006 did not do this time around.

Anonymous said...

@Richard Mwamba,
I am typical Congolese who Live and work in Congo - not like you shout from abroad. For your information i do not do mineral business and i am strongly against those who steal our countless wealth.
Why do not you come back and change Congo instead of barking from far.
You guys are the cause of all this miserable situation and left Congo to be listed 187th on the list by showing the wrong image of this great nation.
If you think you feel like Congolese come back and win or correct Kabila.
We Congolese know each other - Do not confuse others.

Nokia
Goma

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed with the west countries position.They must know that every decision they have maid will be paid by themselves or by their sons.There is no way to forgive what has been done in DRC.Every west citizen death may become soon a reason of joy in DRC.

Jim said...

You cannot call on the west to be be your referee. It is the west which is backing the J kabila and his allies Rwanda nd Uganda. There is no way you can get anything satisfactory for Congolese. We need to take our destiny into our hands. The action has to start we our military officers in the army. they should refuse to fire on civilians.
The propaganda of our enemy has successfully neutralized the power of Congolese officers. But they are the ones who can start a real revolution for the Congolese.
the foreign officers in the army are not more than the Congolese officers. In obeying the orders of foreign officers to kill any protesting civilians, they are killing fellow Congolese for a president who cares less about a people he does not identify with.

Anonymous said...

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
William Arthur Ward

Anonymous said...

In a FC Barcelona v. Manchester United football match, hundreds of thousands of people attend the game as spectators; a relatively small group of people actively participate from behind the scene (including the cheering fanatics and staff teams), but an even smaller group of individuals (22 in total) play off. Interestingly, of the 22 actively involed on the pitch, a great deal of attention is solely given to the selected few (the Messi, Rooney and the like). The referee who ought to favour NONE of the two teams playing-off, is at the end of the game compelled to acknowledge the score as it comes out!

This scenario is pretty much depicting what the Congolese political landscape is like; the people (owners of their nation) behave like spectators and what is even more tragic is that the civil society together with the academia and the clergy as well as those fairly involved in the senery lack tactiful pragmatism to influence the status-quo while the 22 in the play do not care for their spectators at all. Worst still, the referee who is the international community in this regard does not only play favouratism, but can even sucessfully predict the win prior to the match fixture and regardless of any efforts and tactics crafters by the players... This kind of unfortunate game assisted with deplorable naivete has got to stop! The Congolese diasporatic community is challenged more than ever before to be solutions-providers to and/or rules-changers of the game...

Hoping that the year 2012 whisper some wisdom to us!

David

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.