Kinshasa, 23 April 2017: The Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, deployed a follow-up Mission of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika (MCO-T) to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from the 19thto 22ndApril 2017, to assess the current political and security situation in the country, including the implementation of the 31 December 2016 Episcopal Council of Catholic Bishops (CENCO) mediated Agreement.
The mission was within the mandate received from the Extraordinary Summit held in Lozitha, Swaziland on 17 April 2017, whereby Summit had “mandated the Organ Ministerial Troika to immediately conduct a follow-up mission to the DRC, on a date to be agreed upon in consultation with the Chairperson of the Organ and Government of the DRC”. The Summit directive is also in line with the Organ Ministerial Troika’s (OMT) recommendation arising from its previous mission to the DRC undertaken from 10-13 October 2016, which underscored the need to carry out “follow up assessment missions and to lend support to the political, security and the electoral processes in the DRC”.
Hon. Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO), led the mission, accompanied by Hon. Manuel Augusto, Deputy Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola and Deputy Chairperson of the MCO, and Hon. Nyeleti Mondlane, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique, supported by the SADC Secretariat led by Mr. Jorge Cardoso, Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, representing the Executive Secretary of SADC. SADCAmbassadors accredited to the DRC were also part of the mission.
The Missionconsulted with various stakeholders, including Hon. Leonard She Okitundu, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of DRC; the CENCO; representatives of other Religious Groups; the representatives of the Presidential Majority and opposition political partiesincluding the three splinter groups of the Rassemblement; representatives of the Civil Society; the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI); and MONUSCO. The mission further engaged with the EU Ambassador to the DRC, accompanied by representatives from EU countries.
The mission paid courtesy calls on Prime Minister SamyBadibanga and Prime Minister designate Bruno Tshibala, respectively, and concluded its visit with a meeting and briefing with H.E. Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the DRC.
Following consultations and exchange of views with the various stakeholders, the Organ Troika Ministerial Mission:
- welcomed the efforts of the President of the DRC to push forward the political process, inspite of the obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Political Agreement and, in particular, the Special Arrangements;
- noted with concern that the demise of the leader of the Opposition, Etienne Tshisekediwa Mulumba, has complicated the implementation of the Special Arrangements and resulted into a political procrastination in the appointment of the Chairperson of the National Monitoring Committee (NMC) and, to some extent, the appointment of the Prime Minister;
- urged all political stakeholders to support the establishment of a government of national unity, which will encompass inclusiveness,national unity and reconciliation;
- encouraged the Government of the DRC to prioritize socio-economic programmes in order to improve the livelihood conditions of the Congolese people;
- condemned the escalation of violence and insecurity in the Kasai Provinces perpetrated bythe KamwinaNsapu militia group, and encouraged the Government to strengthen the capacity and presence of local state institutions and urged all stakeholders to refrain from actions that would undermine the political and security stability;
- noted that there is ample consensus on the need for the conduct of peaceful, credible and transparent elections in order for the country to enter into a new political and democratic dispensation;
- commended the efforts by CENI in registering close to 23 millionvoters out of an estimated 45 million, andurged all relevant stakeholders to continue supporting the CENI in the preparation of the electoral process;
- re-affirmed SADC’s support to the ongoing implementation process of the December 31st 2016 Political Agreements and called upon all stakeholders to finalize the implementation of the Special Arrangements, in line with the Constitutional Provisions; and,
- called upon the international community and all relevant stakeholders to continue supporting the implementation of the 31 December 2016 Agreement and respecting the wishes of the Congolese people with a view to ensure the sustainable peace, security and stability of the DRC.
Done in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo23rdApril 2017