In the lead up to the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC) scheduled presidential election in November, the Security Council today expressed concern at the recent arrests and detention of members of political opposition and of the civil society.
Security Council expresses “deep concern” at political restrictions in the DR Congo
In a press statement issued on Friday evening, the Council stressed the importance of a “peaceful and credible electoral cycle, in accordance with the Constitution, for stability, development and consolidation of constitutional democracy.”
Council Members called for ensuring the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms “paving the way for and ensuring an environment conducive to free, fair, peaceful, credible, inclusive, transparent and timely elections in the DRC, in accordance with the Constitution, while respecting the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
In the statement, the Council also “expressed their deep concern at increased restrictions of the political space” in the country, particularly in relation to arrests and detention of members of the political opposition and of civil society.
“They urged the Government of the DRC as well as all relevant parties to respect human rights and to refrain from violence and provocation,” according to the statement.
They expressed support for the decision of the African Union to undertake consultations on this dialogue and the recent appointment of Edem Kodjo, former Prime Minister of Togo, as Facilitator for the dialogue.
The Members also welcomed the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the DRC, Maman Sambo Sidikou, and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit, to facilitate this dialogue among political stakeholders.
Members also urged all national stakeholders to extend full cooperation to the international facilitation appointed by the African Union, and encouraged all stakeholders to participate in the dialogue.
The members of the Council acknowledged the ongoing efforts by the Congolese authorities and especially by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), with the support of various partners to revise the voters' register, and emphasized the need for the Congolese authorities to take all necessary steps to proceed without delay, and called on international partners to provide the necessary support.