The State Department issued a Valentines evening statement on the “ongoing” electoral “process” in the DRC. Hard to know what the point of this is. Perhaps it is simply an example of the maxim “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.” Maybe it means: “since we are looking the other way on the presidential election, we do expect that surely you can do a bit of something on some of these parliamentary races, please.” I’ll have to defer to the “Congo Watchers” and be interested to hear more from the various election observations over time.
Ongoing Electoral Process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Press StatementVictoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the SpokespersonWashington, DCFebruary 14, 2012
The United States continues to closely monitor the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the hundreds of legal disputes against some legislative election results. We urge Congolese authorities to conduct a full, thorough, and transparent investigation into these disputes, and to release vote tabulation and other records related to the elections and their outcome.
We remain deeply concerned about multiple allegations of human rights abuses by security forces, including illegal and arbitrary detentions throughout the electoral process. The Congolese government should fully investigate such reports, hold anyone found responsible fully accountable, and take concrete steps to ensure that security forces exercise restraint and respect people’s rights of assembly and of peaceful protest. We call on all Congolese leaders and their supporters to act responsibly and to publicly renounce violence.
Despite these concerns, we encourage all political parties to participate fully when the National Assembly is seated in order to preserve and protect the basic democratic principle of representative government in the Congo. The United States remains steadfast in its support of the Congolese people as they work to build a brighter, more democratic future for the DRC.
Related: U.S. and other Western donors support review of election irregularities in DRC–offer technical assistance
Carter Center calls it as they see it in DRC
DRC: “We have to debunk the idea that it is peace versus transparent elections. The idea that lousy elections are going to bring peace is madness.”
That’s a tight lipped Valentines message by the US government. But there’s one thing I have never understood, Who always fans and funds the fighting in DRC? People used to say it was the Soviets but with the cold war over for about 20 years I’m still perplexed!
I wish a brighter future for the people of DRC too.. 🙂
Ghafla Guy, I think the DRC perplexes us all. I’m not qualified to wade into your question too far, but let me recommend the recent book, Dancing in the Glory of Monsters, the Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa. The author, Jason K. Stearns blogs at “Congo Siasa” which is a good resource on current events. He is an American but has recently worked in the DRC for 10 years and combines experience as an “activist and journalist” with academic credentials and is well respected as an expert on the various rebel groups. From my Blogroll I can also recommend the latest post from Dr. Carl LeVan “Assessing the Ban on “Conflict Minerals” from the DRC” for a discussion of the possible impacts of new legislation. Dr. Laura Seay at “Texas in Africa” is a leading voice in questioning sanctions based on the practical impact on the ground and a rising academic expert on the DRC so check out her blog, too.
It will be interesting to see if we read any more in the Nairobi papers about Kenyans involved in smuggling . . .
Thanks, and hope you’re having a great week!
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