Popular Democratic Republic of Congo politician Moise Katumbi has warned the vast central African country will plunge into chaos if incumbent President Joseph Kabila insists on illegally holding power when his mandate expires on December 19, 2016.
Katumbi, the TP Mazembe President and now main opposition leader, urges Congolese authorities to demonstrate a high sense of responsibility and take all necessary measures to provide for the election.
“On December 19, 2016, President Joseph Kabila will not be the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is therefore his responsibility to organize his exit in a democratic and peaceful manner. Otherwise, the country will descend into chaos and no one can predict neither the scale nor the outcome,” Katumbi warned in his first strongest worded statement after falling apart with his former ally.
Katumbi said Friday from Brussels in Belgium where he is meeting dignitaries and engaging the international community that DRC did not deserve to go through any civil strife to change leadership as the case was in the past.
The Katanga politician also congratulated the United Nations Security Council for extending the peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a year.
According to the U.N.’s statement, which was put forward by France, one of the primary purposes of the mission is to ensure a free, fair, and credible presidential election – “in accordance with the constitution”.
Katumbi’s statement, released in both French and English, is below.
STATEMENT FROM MOISE KATUMBI ON THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL’S ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION 2277
April 2, 2016, Issued from Brussels
On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2277 regarding the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), against the desire of the Congolese government. The resolution, proposed by France, finds that the political, social and security crisis in the DRC continues to deteriorate. In an effort to improve the situation on the ground and protect Congolese civilians, the U.N. extended, for one year, the mandate of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and calls for presidential and legislative elections as directed by the constitution in November 2016.
“I would like to thank each member of the United Nations Security Council. Through the adoption of this resolution, they contribute to the preservation of human life and the fragile democratic achievements of our country. At a time marked by daily killings in the East, as a result of the political tension fueled by the blurring of the electoral cycle with serious human rights and civil liberties violations, this commitment to protect civilians is an absolute necessity. The massacres, suffering, intimidation and repression inflicted on the Congolese people must stop.
“Politically, I welcome the strength of the resolution. It calls on the government and all stakeholders, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), to ensure an electoral process that is free, fair and credible, and that they hold the legislative and presidential elections within the constitutionally required timeframe. The technical assistance and logistical support of MONUSCO to CENI, announced in this resolution, will also contribute to that objective.
“I therefore appeal to the Congolese authorities to demonstrate the same high sense of responsibility and take all necessary measures to provide for the election. On December 19, 2016, President Joseph Kabila will not be the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is therefore his responsibility to organize his exit in a democratic and peaceful manner. Otherwise, the country will descend into chaos and no one can predict neither the scale nor the outcome.”