Outcry for Congo: Targeted Sanctions Now
Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is coming to the end of his second, and constitutionally mandated final term. Though elections are scheduled to take place in November, Kabila has made it clear, through delays and obstructions to the electoral process, that he will ignore his constitutional obligation to step down from the presidency. Refusing to peacefully transfer power puts Congo, and Congolese citizens, at high risk of debilitating regional instability and violence.
Active international pressure to promote free and fair elections in the DRC is now vital – and US policy towards Congo is failing. Despite President Kabila’s attempt to stay in power at all costs, and continued looting and violence against the population, the U.S. has not created any consequences for the government’s repression. On February 16th, youth and democracy activists plan to peacefully demonstrate so that elections can be held on time this year. The Congolese government is gearing up to respond violently to these protests. Last year, the reaction of the Congolese government to similar protests led to at least 43 deaths.
The Telema Movement and Kabila's Onslaught on Congolese Youth
Report from Friends of the Congo
By Kambale Musavuli, Spokesperson
On January 19, 2015, Congolese youth descended into the streets in response to an appeal from opposition figures to defend the country's constitution and its nascent democracy. The matter at hand was president Joseph Kabila's latest attempt to legitimize his stay in power beyond the December 19, 2016 constitutional deadline for his departure. The Kabila regime tried to muscle an electoral law through Parliament that would require the organizing of a census before presidential and legislative elections. Many analysts argued that a census would take several years to conduct, which would push the elections well beyond 2016.
One year later, the regime is still desperately trying to legitimize its stay in power in contravention of the country's constitution. The rationale du jour is the so-called inclusive dialogue. In several speeches since November 28, 2015, president Kabila has argued that the path to elections is through a national inclusive dialogue. A substantial segment of civil society and political opposition have rejected the dialogue as a ploy on the part of the regime to prolong Kabila's stay in power.
Youth victim of bullet wound through chest & back
Photo by Friends of the Congo
B'Tselem Newsletter: Extrajudicial street executions
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A focus on church role in Democratic Republic of Congo elections
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Advocacy Focus: Congo Week
October 18-24, 2015
Breaking the Silence: Congo Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about the devastating legacy of conflict in the Congo and mobilize support on behalf of the people of the CongoRead more...