NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
The top UN envoy in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) warned on Thursday that the
lack of security poses a threat to the upcoming
presidential and legislative elections in the
As the DRC moves toward elections
in December, the complexity of the security
situation and the continuing activities of armed
groups in the east of the country continue to pose a
major challenge, Leila Zerrougui told the Security
Securing the elections is a prerequisite for
credible and peaceful polls.
It is important to ensure the security of the
candidates, but also to provide an environment in
which the campaign and the actual polls will take
place, said the head of the UN peacekeeping mission
in the DRC.
It is difficult to secure the areas where armed
groups are stationed, which are increasingly using
the political agenda for the benefit of their own
interests, she said.
The UN envoy recommended the establishment of
electoral security mechanisms as well as the
strategic coordination of the various national
defense and security entities.
She expressed specific concern about current
developments in Beni in North Kivu province.
Presumed Allied Democratic Forces continue to
stage near-daily attacks on civilians, the armed
forces of the DRC, and the UN mission that is known
by its French acronym as MONUSCO.
To make things worse, the attacks have made the
response to an Ebola outbreak in the area
increasingly challenging, she said.
So far, there have been 194 confirmed or probable
cases, and 120 deaths in the Beni health zone and
surrounding areas, now including a town neighbouring
Zerrougui reported that the electoral process is
evolving according to the electoral calendar.
Decisive milestones have been reached, she said,
noting that the electoral law has been revised, the
electoral register drawn up and submitted to an
Twenty-one candidates have been validated to
compete for the presidency, 15,505 candidates for
the National Assembly and 19,640 candidates for
DRC’s elections were long overdue.
A political agreement on Dec. 31, 2016 allowed
President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since
2001, to stay on after his term of office expired,
on the condition that elections would be held within
But elections were delayed on the grounds of
logistics. On Nov. 5, 2017, the country’s electoral
commission published an electoral calendar for the
combined presidential, legislative and provincial
elections for Dec. 23, 2018.
envoy reiterates need to neutralize
'negative forces' across the Great Lakes region
UNITED NATIONS New York
(Xinhua) -- The United
special envoy for Africa’s Great
Lakes region on Thursday reiterated the need to
neutralize "negative forces" in the region as part
of the efforts to appease situation in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
At a Security Council meeting concerning the
country, UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region
in Africa Said Djinnit said insecurity in eastern
DRC persists as a result of the continued presence
of "negative forces."
"In addition to creating insecurity and
generating displacement of populations, the
activities of these negative forces fuel mistrust
between countries of the region and contribute a
threat to regional peace and stability," he said.
These forces include Allied Democratic Forces,
Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda,
ex-M23, and some armed Burundian elements, he noted,
underlining their neutralization as the first
priority in advancing commitments under a 2013
intergovernmental framework agreement, or Peace,
Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and
the region (PSC Framework).
Meanwhile, the envoy briefed the council on the
repatriation of disarmed combatants, saying some
modest results have been achieved.
"A total of 41 persons have been repatriated to
their countries of origin" in his reporting period,
namely from March to August.
To advance commitments under the PSC Framework,
Djinnit said another priority is to support
"peaceful, credible and inclusive" electoral and
political processes in the region.
Particularly, on the DRC’s political process, the
envoy said he encouraged sustained regional
engagement in support of elections in line with the
Dec. 31 agreement, where the ruling party and
opposition signed deal for incumbent President
Joseph Kabila to step down.
The DRC is slated to hold general elections on
Dec. 23 this year to determine a successor to
Djinnit underscored greater participation of
women, youth and civil society in peace and
political processes in the region as another
priority to meet the Framework commitments,
reiterating the goal of a minimum of 30 percent
representation of women in these processes by 2023.
Geographically, countries in Africa’s Great Lakes
region include Burundi, the DRC, Kenya, Rwanda,
Tanzania and Uganda.
However, the 2013 Framework agreement was reached
among these countries except Kenya plus Central
African Republic, Angola, Republic of Congo, South
Africa, South Sudan and Zambia.
These 11 countries in the east and central Africa
constitutes a complex network of political and
economic interactions with significant implications
for peace, security and governance.
It is also a region with interlinked conflicts
and common fundamental problems that emanate from
post-colonial challenges to state-building and
president to meet Democratic Republic
of Congo counterpart over rebel groups
KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua)
-- Ugandan President
Yoweri Museveni has said he will meet his Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) counterpart Joseph Kabila to
discuss measures of wiping out rebel groups in the
eastern part of the vast central African country.
Museveni in a State House statement issued on
Tuesday said the problems in DRC spill over not only
to Uganda but also to other neighboring countries.
Restive eastern DRC is a hideout of many rebel
Museveni said action is now needed by DRC,
together with regional and international partners to
establish total peace in the region.
"That trinity of the DRC, Regional countries and
the International Community, can work if we embark
on it seriously," he said.
Museveni noted that rebel outfits like the Allied
Democratic Forces and other groups based in DRC can
be defeated the way Uganda wiped out all negative
forces in the country.
Museveni was speaking as the incoming chairperson
of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace,
Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and
The regional meeting, which was held here on
Monday was also attended by President Salva Kiir of
South Sudan and Edgar Lungu, the Zambian leader.
The out-going chairperson of the Framework,
President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo, in a
message said significant progress has been made in
the DRC, Burundi, South Sudan and the Central
African Republic (CAR) in the last one year.
He urged all stakeholders to pursue efforts to
bring about everlasting peace to the region.
A communiqué read at the end of the one day
meeting said a new approach beyond the existing
measures is needed to ensure greater regional
cooperation for the full neutralization of the
negative forces in the region.
The communiqué also said that the meeting
welcomed a recent announcement by Burundian
President Pierre Nkurunziza not to present himself
as a candidate in the country’s next election.
The leaders also welcomed the revitalized
Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South
Sudan and called on the signatory parties to ensure
the full and effective implementation of the
They also urged the armed groups in CAR to end
their violent acts.