069_Global12_InFocus_DRC_V8

Global issue 12

In FocusThe Democratic Republic of Congo Viewp int Attorney Elie Mutela, Spokesperson for the Alliance of the Presidential Majority (political parties supporting President Kabila) in North Kivu province We are a democratic country and have to respect each one’s point of view, so the opposition and whoever has the right to contest Kabila’s legitimacy. But the truth Credit: MONUSCO photo is there isn’t any legitimacy problem in DRC. We are a constitutional country, the result of the polls proclaimed Joseph Kabila Kabange the winner of the No- vember 28, 2011 elections. Election observers identified serious irregularities and instances of fraud Viewp int frastructure, bringing accessible health care commander of that province’s army has also and education to the majority of Congolese, risen up against the government and is de- Colonel Vianney Kazarama, providing safe housing, improving water manding the truth of polls. and electricity services, and creating job “As far as security is concerned, Mr Ka- Spokesperson for M23, a rebel opportunities. Establishing and maintain- bila doesn’t have the control of the army,” militia group ing security across the country was key to Mubake said. “The consequences of Kabi- delivering Congo’s development plan. la’s illegitimacy in the security plane are nu- The elections of November 28 were But little progress towards these goals was merous; you can observe a lot of defections neither transparent nor credible and made. Kabila’s national image was severely on the front line, day after day, in eastern the different demonstrations that took undermined and his popularity declined sig- DRC where soldiers are no longer obeying place in Kinshasa and in the rest of DRC nificantly. Instead of stepping back from the him because they are not well paid.” provinces are proving that the popula- presidential race, Kabila revised the constitu- The UDPS insists that the four-month de- tion of DRC is claiming the legitimacy tion, scrapping the multi-round run-off system of the elections. We agreed to defect used during the 2006 elections in favour of a from FARDC the Congolese army single round of voting. Under the new rules, In order to regain the and create a new military and politi- votes would win even if he secured, for exam- DRC government didn’t respect thesupport of the Congolesecal movement called M23 because the the candidate with the largest percentage of ple, just 20 percent of the national vote. Con- electorate, President peace agreement signed on March 23, golese opposition and human rights groups 2009. Also because of the return of warned against a threat to national unity, fear- Congolese refugees who are in Rwanda,Kabila’s government ing the possibility of the election of a president must stabilise the east, Uganda and Burundi, the recognition of who was not representative of all Congolese military grades from CNDP National people. The chairman of CENI, Pastor Daniel guarantee the wages Congress for the Defence of the People, Ngoy Mulunda, dismissed these concerns and the lack of good governance, much cor- rejected calls for the postponement of both the ruption and impunity, etc.of state employees and presidential and legislative elections. reduce unemployment Kabila’s contested legitimacy is increas- health workers – and reducing unemploy- ingly loosening his government’s tenuous ment should be among the government’s hold on the security situation nationwide lay in forming a government did not help most immediate concerns, while establish- and is drawing the concern of observers. In the social situation in Congo. The party ing good governance and a return to true the restive North Kivu province, there has also believes that diplomatic relations with democracy would help restore the outside been an insurrection by M23, a rebel group foreign countries have been damaged as a world’s confidence in Kabila. named after the failed 23 March 2009 peace result of contested elections and that the Political analyst Stephane Omana is not agreement and headed by Congolese army economy is suffering too.“Due to insecuri- optimistic: “With badly organised elec- renegade officers from the National Con- ty, British, American and German investors tions, irregularities and fraud observed, gress for the Defence of the People (CNDP will not bring their investments in a country contestations, a divided opposition, a pres- – a political militia that originally supported of high risks,” said Mubake. ident governing by force and military de- Kabila’s re-election). M23 has been rallying In order to regain the support of the Con- fections observed… it is a bit complex and support from local armed groups throughout golese electorate, Kabila’s administration dark to predict the future of the Congo.”● the eastern Kivu and Ituri districts, claiming has a huge task ahead. Stabilising the east, that the presidential elections were flawed. guaranteeing the wages of state employ- Caleb Kabanda is a freelance journalist based Further west in Kasaï-Occidental, a former ees – teachers, soldiers, police officers and in Goma globalfourth quarter 2012 www.global-briefing.org l69


Global issue 12
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