On the 19th December 2016 the last term of President Joseph Kabila went out. The Democratic Republic of Congo we’re the opposition negotiation through Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO) agreement on the 31st December 2016. Still, the President hasn’t left any sign of leaving. As the Army are fighting on different front, are trying to avoid more problems, but having civil war situation in Kasai-Oriental, where the province has rebels killing and the army doing the same.
There are not been any visible signs that he is stepping down or giving way. Neither any clear signs of up-coming elections. Like there are just figment of imagination that his term went out in December 19th 2016. That is 4 months and 20 days that he is on overtime, without any consideration of the violation of the Third Republic. The Democratic Republic of Congo deserves better and should have legitimate President. Also, if you count days he has already spent total 141 days, which he shouldn’t be the Commander-in-Chief and President.
Therefore, 141 days on overtime, the news that he has unleashed a new cabinet and new set of ministers. Proves the violation and the rights of the Republic is being misused and misguided. I don’t care to look into the men and woman appointed, because that isn’t fair to the citizens of the DRC. They deserve a legit President and a regime they have elected. Not someone using the army and the resources as their personal business.
Even if on this date that the President appointed 47 Ministers and 11 Vice-Ministers. They are surely all loyal to Kabila, as they doesn’t care about the constitution, nor the laws that the Third Republic are supposed to have.
The Constitution of 2005 says clearly:
“Article 70: The President of the Republic is elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of five years which is renewable only once. At the end of his term, the President stays in office until the President-Elect effectively assumes his functions” (Democratic Republic of Congo – The Constitution of 2005).
So he has had two terms, plus the waiting term after the assassination of his father, who also was President. Therefore, because of that, he has already had three terms in that respect, but only elected in two. Now he is on his fourth without any consent or ballots. That because cannot be elected as long as the Constitution is written like this. The thing that he didn’t do, like many other totalitarian leaders, they change the laws to fit their paradigm and continues “legally”. He is functioning as President while waiting to President-Elect assumes his functions. But with no election and no plan of doing so, there is no evidence of him leaving.
That is even more evident as he changes and appoint a new Cabinet, with lots of ministers loyal to him. It is within the law that he appoint ministers. Still, it is 141 days since he had legitimate powers and was the President. Right now, he shouldn’t be preoccupied with who leads Communications or where Lambert Mende is working. President Kabila, should be come a civilian or join Yayah Jammeh in Equatorial Guinea, even go to Togo like Mobotu!
“After a weekend of confusing reports on Mobutu’s whereabouts, CNN confirmed on Monday that he was in Togo, escaping there early Sunday just ahead of rebels advancing on his home in the northern Zairian village of Gbadolite” (…) “Mobutu — who fled Kinshasa on Friday, the day before rebels entered the capital in force — was resting in a residence belonging to his old friend, Togolese dictator Gnassingbe Eyadema, government officials in the West African nation said” (Arnett, 1997).
So if he would do the 3rd Republic a favor, he would leave the Presidency and leave the Nation. It doesn’t seem to be possible at this point. President Kabila has not conceded or tried to give way. Therefore, the trust of him leaving power, seems day-by-day unlikely. President Kabila shows that he uses his power and capacity, as the army are loyal to him. This proves that the elections seems far-fetched, since he has not showed anything feasible or even tried to even get tenders for ballots.
That President Kabila will say elections are expensive, the are to many rebellions, that the M23 are in the Kivu’s, that FDLR are doing their thing, that ADF-NALU still existing, that the Kamunia Nsapu and other groups killing in different provinces. This will all be used as tactics to postpone the elections and make sure there are no official date for elections, nor ordering ballots or securing funds for the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI). They will all be left behind, since there are no plans or wish of the President to get a successor. That means he will leave all his power behind!
This new government is just a disgrace… and not respecting the Constitution of the 3rd Republic. Neither, it is clear disrespect of the people and republic. President Kabila doesn’t own the nation and the public doesn’t owe him anything, they deserves some who legitimate rule them. Time for Kabila to follow the fleeing President and leave for Togo! Peace.
Arnett, Peter – ‘Mobutu in Togo as Zaire rebels assume leadership’ (19.05.1997) link:http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/9705/19/zaire/index.html?eref=sitesearch
The brutal conflict in Congo’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.
GENEVA, Switzerland, April 21, 2017 – A spike of violence in the Kasai Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has now forced over 11,000 refugees to seek safety in Angola. Border points and villages inside the Southern African nation have seen a sharp increase in refugee arrivals with over 9,000 arriving so far in April. The brutal conflict in Congo’s previously peaceful Kasai region has already displaced more than one million civilians within the country since it began in mid-2016.
Those fleeing into Angola continue to arrive mainly in Dundo, the capital of north-eastern Luanda Norte Province.
Refugees reported fleeing attacks from militia groups, who are targeting police, military officials, and civilians who they believe are supporting or representing the Government. After running away from fighting rebel and Government forces, some refugees had to hide in the forest for several days before fleeing to Angola. Refugees are arriving in desperate conditions, without access to clean water, food or shelter.
The situation among children is dire, as many arriving malnourished and sick – suffering from diarrhea, fever and malaria. Two children are reported to have already died from severe malnutrition. UNHCR is concerned for the fate of others suffering from worrying levels of food insecurity and illnesses.
The new arrivals are terrified and still fear for their lives and mentioned they do not have any immediate plans to return home. Some parents have reportedly sent their children across the border, worrying they would be forcibly recruited by the militias if they had stayed in the DRC.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is currently coordinating refugee response with the Government, local authorities and partners on the ground. We are also negotiating with the Government for proper hosting sites as the current border locations are overcrowded and not suitable. UNHCR is sending an additional emergency team to Dundo this Saturday to support relief efforts.
UNHCR is in the process of shipping family tents, kitchens sets, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats and other essential relief items to the area.
Further aid is urgently needed, as refugees are forced to stay in makeshift buildings in the border villages. Angola’s wet season peaks in April, and UNHCR is especially worried about the ongoing rains –– which could further complicate living conditions and the health of refugees, especially the most vulnerable such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled.
UNHCR welcomes the response of the Government of Angola in keeping its borders open for continued refugee arrivals. We hope that this gesture of goodwill will continue as the situation remains dire in DRC’s Kasai region. UNHCR is also underlining the importance of not returning people in need of international protection to the DRC.
This brings to 40 the number of mass graves documented by the UN in Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental Provinces since August 2016.
GENEVA, Switzerland, April 19, 2017 – UN investigators in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have confirmed the existence of at least 17 further mass graves in Kasai Central Province, which has been the scene of clashes between soldiers and members of a local militia known as Kamuina Nsapu. This brings to 40 the number of mass graves documented by the UN in Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental Provinces since August 2016.
The presence of the additional graves was confirmed during an investigation mission to Kasai Central between 5 and 7 April by staff from the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO) and UN Police (UNPOL).
Fifteen of the mass graves were in a cemetery in the town of Tshimbulu and two in the locality of Tshienke. The UN team gathered information that soldiers from the Forces armées de la Republique démocratique du Congo (FARDC) had reportedly dug the graves, after clashing with presumed elements of the Kamuina Nsapu militia between 26 and 28 March. At least 74 people, including 30 children, were reported to have been killed by soldiers as a result of these clashes.
The UN team also visited Kananga to gather information about alleged abuses and violations there. Between 28 and 30 March, FARDC soldiers were reported to have shot dead at least 40 people, including 11 children and 12 women, in the Nganza commune of Kananga, and injured at least 21 others. The majority of the victims were said to have been killed in their homes as soldiers went door to door looking for militia members.
Two of the victims died in hospital, while the remaining 38 were reportedly buried by the local population in three mass graves. FARDC soldiers were also reported to have buried an unknown number of bodies in a fourth mass grave in Nganza cemetery.
UNJHRO also received reports that at least two women and three girls had been raped by FARDC soldiers during the same operation in Nganza. Defence and security forces were alleged to have arrested and detained 27 people, including 10 boys and a 15-year-old girl.
The UN investigators, who also visited the Katoka commune of Kananga, heard reports that during search operations by officers from the Police nationale congolaise (PNC) on 28 March, a 23-year-old man, a 17-year-old boy and a one-month-old baby had been killed. The UN team was told that the baby had been fatally injured after being trampled on by police officers searching their house.
The Kamuina Nsapu militia, which is loyal to a local customary chief killed by the army on 12 August last year, has been accused of recruiting hundreds of children into its ranks, and targeting state agents and symbols, including government premises, schools, hospitals, police stations, as well as churches. An example of such violence happened on 30 March when about 30 alleged Kamuina Nsapu militiamen attacked the parish church of Saint-Jean de Masuika in Luiza territory, where they ill-treated at least three nuns and a priest, threatening to kill them. In addition, the priest and one of the nuns were reportedly abducted and then released the next day after money was paid. The militiamen also vandalized the church, breaking doors and windows, and burning the priest’s chasubles.
“The discovery of yet more mass graves and the reports of continued violations and abuses highlight the horror that has been unfolding in the Kasais over the last nine months,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
“It is absolutely vital that the Government of the DRC takes meaningful steps, which to date have been lacking, to ensure that there is a prompt, transparent, and independent investigation to establish the facts and circumstances of alleged human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by all parties, and other abuses of justice. My Office has offered its assistance in conducting such a credible investigation. We reiterate our request for access to all sites of mass graves, as well as to all witnesses, including those in detention, and other relevant information necessary to determine responsibility at all levels,” Zeid said.
“The scale and nature of the violence increasingly underscore the need to monitor the situation closely. Should there be no effective national investigation, I will not hesitate to urge the international community to support an investigation by an international mechanism, including the International Criminal Court, which recently reminded the DRC authorities of their primary responsibility under the Rome Statute to investigate and prosecute the alleged acts of violence in the Kasais,” the High Commissioner said.
The endless violence that has occurred in the Province since March 2016 to April 2017 has to stop. The killings of innocent civilians as the United Nations finds more and more mass graves in and around Kasai-Oriental. That the Kamunia Nsapu rebels are dangerous is an understatement, but the Armed Forces of Democratic of Congo (FARDC) has really made a manslaughter and something that must reminisce of a genocide. The amount of killings and the systematic destruction of society as the amounts of dead and findings of graves, is only the beginning. With the coming reports of the villages that is looted and the senseless tyranny, that has appeared in the region should worry anyone who care about somebody. There are also towns who has been taken for granted that has gotten issues by the armed insurgency. So the end-game right now is scores of dead and the mass graves as the armed violence continues.
While the International Community condemns the killings of the UN Experts and their interpreter, there isn’t much else than a weaker UN Peacekeeping Mission tabled from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and an unsure political process underway. As the local reports will tell about both condemnation from CRONGD and Reprodhoc, but also other mere facts of the dire situation that is healthy to know.
CRONGD condemns the killings:
“The Regional Council of Central Non-Governmental Organizations (Crongd) of Kasaï Central and the Provincial Network of Human Rights Organizations (Reprodhoc) say …” (…)“Condemn with the utmost energy the violence, the exactions, the stalking, the killings and the massacres of the populations and the villages in the Kasai space, vigorously protest against any pretension to want to resort to and impose peace by force, knowing that the force Has never produced lasting peace, “they denounced” (…) “… Call for an independent international investigation into the killings and massacres of those currently buried in nearly 30 mass graves, calling for justice..” (Ngonga, 2017).
The Situation in Luebo, Kasai:
“The administrator of Luebo regrets that the enlistment kits have been set on fire and even feared the holding of elections in this part of Kasai. He explained that the National Police is not armed to face such an attack: “The police are not equipped to deal with a war that is happening. Under these conditions, the police could only intrench themselves because they were not an army. In Luebo, there were never any soldiers, “concluded Joseph Mbuyi Mubenga” (Ntambwe, 2017).
Government disclaim the reports from Catholic church in the Kasai province:
“But in Kananga, it is the brutality of the army that is pointed at, notably by the Catholic church, in the front line on the ground. “It is difficult to understand these reactions of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church speaking of the disproportionate use of force, whereas we do not have the elements on what exactly happened …, “Said Lambert Mende, spokesman for the Congolese government, by telephone” (TV5Monde, 2017).
Government proclaims order:
“The military is patrolling to restore order in the region, according to Justin Milonga, who recommended that local people report any cases of slippage in these operations. “If there are cases of slippage, all of us, we are called to denounce them so that sanctions are inflicted on these elements of order. I reassure you … that there are even some officers who are in prison for having slipped on the ground, “he said before calling the residents who fled their homes to return. This deployment is part of the “restoration of public order disrupted by militia activism and not to bother the population,” said Justin Milonga at a press conference” (Radio Okapi, 2017).
So there are reports that are worrying, but there some concern of the matter. It is hard to believe Lambert Mende and Vice-Governor of Kasai Central Justin Milonga, as the amounts of mass graves and the scores of death is arising, the violence and uncertainty isn’t something that seem real. That the army is there and trying to monitor the situation is clear, but the control of the different battalions and knowledge of the rebels activity seem unclear. Even if some of the soldiers are having mutiny can also be asked. Since there reports of military personnel behind bars. Therefore the spokesperson shows there has been transgression within the army of both violence and otherwise, if not the men wouldn’t serve time.
There are so many questions as the numbers of mass graves comes in Kasai-Oriental or Kasai Central, as the brutality and violence aftermath and current state appear. As the local reports of both looting and vandalism, as well as towns feeling unsure about the armed insurgency like in Luebo. The civilians and people Congo, deserve better and the Congolese Authorities has to take action, as their inaction and the probable causes for the breaches against crime against humanity should be looked into. The Presidency of Kabila should not able to walk away from this without a scratch, as his rule is questioned and deservedly so. Peace.
Acualite.cd/ Ngonga, Franck – ‘Kasaï Central : Un collectif d’ONG parle d’environ 30 fosses communes et demande une enquête internationale’ (03.04.2017) link: https://actualite.cd/2017/04/03/kasai-central-collectif-dong-parle-denviron-30-fosses-communes-demande-enquete-internationale/
Ntambwe, Stanislas – ‘KASAÏ: LA CITÉ DE LUEBO SOUS CONTRÔLE DES HOMMES ARMÉS’ (03.04.2017) link: http://www.lepotentielonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16740:kasai-la-cite-de-luebo-sous-controle-des-hommes-
Radio Okapi – ‘Kasaï-Central: la population appelée à dénoncer les dérapages des militaires’ ((03.04.2017) link: http://www.radiookapi.net/2017/04/03/actualite/societe/kasai-central-la-population-appelee-denoncer-les-derapages-des?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+radiookapi%2Factu+%28Radiookapi.net%29#sthash.ZffUtZla.dpuf
TV5Monde – ‘RDC : 7 mois de violences au Kasaï’ (03.04.2017) link: http://information.tv5monde.com/afrique/rdc-7-mois-de-violences-au-kasai-162430