SA concerned by tensions in DRC

Pretoria - The South African government has expressed concern about the current situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and has called on all parties to seek only peaceful solutions to the political challenges.

This would be in line with the Constitution of the DRC and the Security Council Resolution 2277 (2016) which calls for dialogue that must lead to the holding of presidential and legislative elections as soon as possible in 2017.

Pretoria said it supports the outcomes of the National Political Dialogue facilitated by AU facilitator Edem Kodjo, as well as the current National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) direct talks led by President Marcel Utembi.

“The South African government encourages the participants to the current CENCO-facilitated talks to resume on 21 December 2016, as agreed,” the Department of Internationals Relations and Cooperation said in a statement on Tuesday.

“South Africa likewise renews the call on all stakeholders to uphold the principles, ideals and aspirations of the Congolese people as enshrined in the DRC Constitution in accordance with the SADC and AU principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.

“South Africa continues to call on all parties to exercise restraint and to take urgent steps to end the violence and restore the protection given to the people of DRC through its Constitution.”

Violent protests erupted in the DRC capital Kinshasa with protesters demanding that President Joseph Kabila step down after his second term officially expired on Tuesday.

Pretoria said these incidences threaten the hard-won democratic gains made by the DRC through the past two elections.

“Likewise, the Congolese Diaspora is urged to work through their political leaders in the DRC, and not to resort to violence,” Dirco. 

South Africa has partnered with the people of the DRC for the past two and a half decades continues to provide support to the people of the DRC to achieve lasting and sustainable peace, security and development in the country. -