Monday, January 04, 2016

Martyrs Day: Congolese Youth Stand Up #Telema

January 4th is a seminal day in Congo’s history, which serves as a national holiday. On January 4, 1959, ordinary Congolese stood in defiance of Belgian colonialism demanding independence. Congolese in Kinshasa unleashed a spontaneous uprising out of frustration with the repressive Belgian colonial regime. In his critically acclaimed work "Congo: From Leopold to Kabila," Dr Georges Nzongola Ntalaja said the march on January 4, 1959 "sounded the death knell of Belgian Colonialism in the Congo." The unifying chant of the marchers was "Indépendance Immediate" or "Independence Now" in English. The uprising represented the radicalization of the struggle for independence. It frightened not only the Belgian authorities but also the Congolese elites know as évolués.

Nine days later on January 13, 1959 both the King of Belgium and the Belgium government announced that in due time Belgium would grant Congo full independence. In the conscience of the nation, the day represents the historic point of departure for the independence of the Congo from Belgian colonialism.

The courageous stance by that generation of Congolese served as a key catalyst for Congo’s independence in 1960. Since the 1960s Congolese have celebrated and commemorated that generation’s actions and named the day “la journée des martyrs de l’indépendance,” or in English, independence Martyrs Day. Without a doubt, Congolese of that era made enormous sacrifices for freedom and independence.

Congolese continue to make tremendous sacrifice for total independence and liberation from tyranny. The youth have been at the forefront of this fight. During 2015, Congolese youth paid the dearest price in confronting the tyrannical regime of president Joseph Kabila. The Kabila regime is seeking to remain in power against the will of the Congolese people and has demonstrated its willingness to kill, jail, disappear and suppress those who have called for the country's constitution to be respected. Below are some of the most egregious examples of the repressive actions of the Kabila regime against the youth of the Congo in 2015:

DRC: Deadly Crack Down on Protests
Human Rights Watch

Congo's Telema Protests
The Guardian

FILIMBI Youth Arrested by DRC Government
BBC News

Congolese Rapper and Musician Radek Supreme Arrested by Kabila Regime
Friends of the Congo

Youth Activist, Jean Marie Kalonji Kidnapped by Kabila Regime
Radio France International

Courageous Congolese continue to make enormous sacrifices for a better future for the sons and daughters of the Congo? Under the banner of the #Telema movement, youth have risen to resist tyranny, defend the country's constitution and advance the nascent democratic gains. The global community should stand in support and solidarity with the people of the Congo as they pursue peace, justice and human dignity.

Join the global movement in support of a peaceful and just Congo by visiting Telema.org!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Libérez Jean Marie Kalonji

Libérez Jean Marie Kalonji
Par Kambale Musavuli
Porte-Parole de Friends of the Congo (Les Amis du Congo)

Mardi, le 15 Décembre 2015, le jeune activiste Jean Marie Emmanuel Le Roi Kalonji Ngbongolo (connu aussi sur le nom de Jean Marie Kalonji) a été kidnappé en plein jour par des hommes en tenue civile et brandissant des revolvers près de la Gare Centrale de Kinshasa en République démocratique du Congo. Ces hommes l’ont brutalisé et l’ont fait entrer dans une jeep Pathfinder bleu-sombre.

Sa famille était très inquiète à propos de son sort et bien-être. Sa location a été inconnue pendant plus d’une semaine. Le mardi 22 décembre, il a été trouvé dans une cellule de détention de l’Agence Nationale de Renseignements (ANR). Les agents de cette agence ont organisé un « examen de chefs d’accusation » où ils ont accusé que Mr. Kalonij sur Facebook était opposé contre le Dialogue national organisé par Joseph Kabila parce que le dialogue « met en cause la constitution de notre pays. »

Les agents ANR disent que ses activités avec les étudiants des universités ont été suivies depuis un certain temps et qu’ils étaient inquiets à propos de la proximité de ses relations avec le politicien de l’opposition congolaise Martin Faylulu. L’ANR a aussi ajouté qu’il semble que Jean Marie soit également proche d’un groupe de jeunes congolais à Goma ainsi qu’avec des groupes extérieurs au Congo travaillant pour le changement au sein de la société congolaise.

Jean Marie Kalonji est un activiste des Droits de l’homme de 29 ans, vivant à Kinshasa RDC. Il est détenteur d’un diplôme en droit international de l’Université libre de Kinshasa (ULK). Il est le coordinateur de Quatrième voix, une organisation de la société civile basée à Kinshasa. Il a organisé et mobilisé la jeunesse congolaise afin qu’elle comprenne son rôle et sa responsabilité en tant que citoyen en résolvant les questions locales du sanitaire publique à la politique électorale.

L’enlèvement de Jean Marie est le dernier parmi un nombre d’arrestation arbitraires effectuées de plus en plus par le régime de Kabila. Plusieurs jeunes congolais sont incarcérés sans charge pendant des mois puis torturée, comme ceci a été le cas avec l’artiste Hip hop Radek Supreme qui a été libéré la semaine dernière pour des raisons médicales et a porté plainte au parquet général pour torture enlèvement, séquestration et traitement inhumain à charge de l’ANR. Comme la famille de Jean Marie met en œuvre les moyens légaux pour obtenir sa libération, ils sont aussi sujets aux harassements et aux menaces provenant du régime Kabila.

Joignez-nous en exigeant la libération et la prise en compte de Jean-Marie Kalonji, Fred Bauma, Yves Makwambala et de tous las autres prisonniers politiques. Cliquer ici pour agir!

Pour plus d’information sur le mouvement de la jeunesse congolaise, visitez : http://telema.org.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Free Jean Marie Kalonji

Free Jean Marie Kalonji
By
Kambale Musavuli
Spokesperson, FOTC

On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, young Congolese activist Jean Marie Emmanuel Le Roi Kalonji Ngbongolo (known as Jean Marie Kalonji) was kidnapped in broad daylight by armed men in plain clothes brandishing pistols near Gare Centrale (main train station) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These men brutalized him and forced him into a dark blue, pathfinder jeep.

Jean Marie's family has been very concerned about his whereabouts and well being.  His location was not known for more than a week. On Tuesday, December 22nd, he was found in a holding cell at Congo’s National Intelligence Agency office (Agence Nationale de Renseignements - ANR). The agents in the office held a "Hearing of the Charges" session where they claimed that Mr. Kalonji posted on Facebook that he is against the national dialogue organized by president Joseph Kabila because it puts Congo’s constitution at risk.

The ANR agents said that his activities with college students have been monitored for quite a while and that they were concerned about his close association with Congolese opposition politician Martin Fayulu. The ANR also added that it appears that Jean-Marie was close to Congolese youth groups in Goma as well as groups outside of the Congo working for change within Congolese civil society.

Jean Marie Kalonji is a 29 year-old human rights activist based in Kinshasa, DRC. He holds a degree in International Law from Université Libre de Kinshasa (ULK). He is the coordinator of Quatrieme Voix , a civil society organization based in Kinshasa. He has organized and mobilized Congolese youth to understand their role and responsibility as citizens in resolving local issues from street sanitation to electoral politics.

Jean-Marie’s kidnapping is the latest among the increasing arbitrary arrests by the Kabila regime. Congolese youth are detained without any charges for months and subsequently tortured, just as was the case with popular Congolese hip hop artist Radek Supreme who was released last week for medical reasons but is feared to have been disappeared again. As Jean-Marie’s family pursue legal means of getting him released, they are also subjected to harassment and threats from the Kabila regime.

Join us in demanding the release and full accounting of Jean-Marie Kalonji, Radek Supreme, Fred Bauma, Yves Makwambala and all other political prisoners. Click here to take action!

For more information on Congo's youth movement, visit http://telema.org.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Le discours de Kabila, une voie vers le glissement ?

Le discours de Kabila, une voie vers le glissement ?
par Kambale Musavuli

En moins d’une année, ( Novembre 2016) la République démocratique du Congo ( DRC) va tenir des élections présidentielles et législatives. Cependant un nombre important d’incertitudes entoure l’organisation de ces élections, qui devraient de toute évidence  déboucher sur un nouveau président et marquer la première transition  paisible du pouvoir dans l’histoire du pays.  Le principal parti d’opposition du Congo, l’Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social [Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS)] a tenu des pourparlers avec le régime de Kabila afin d’organiser un dialogue national qui devrait comme nous l’espérons éviter la détérioration de la crise électorale actuelle.
(qui a été orchestrée par le régime de Kabila).

Le Président Kabila s’est adressé à la nation le samedi 28 novembre afin d’aborder le sujet du dialogue national. Plus tôt la même journée, le gouvernement de Kabila arrêtait une dizaine d’activistes à Goma. Ils marchaient paisiblement afin d’attirer l’attention sur  l’inadmissible perte de vie de la ville de Beni. Kabila a souligné cinq priorités pour la planification du dialogue national dans son discours à la nation.

1.    La crédibilité des listes électorales
2.    Le calendrier électoral
3.    La sécurité du processus électoral
4.    Le financement des élections
5.    Le rôle des partenaires internationaux

Le discours de Kabila a été marqué principalement par ce qu’il n’a pas dit. Il est resté silencieux sur la question de la fin de son mandat après décembre 2016, après l’achèvement de son second terme de cinq années comme défini dans la constitution du Congo. Kabila n’a pas précisé une date pour le dialogue, il s’est simplement référé à l’organisation d’un comité préparatoire. Il n’a pas assumé de responsabilité d’aucune sorte pour l’état actuel des affaires. Ce sont en fait Kabila et sa coalition majoritaire qui ont conduit à l’actuelle crise politique. 

Le discours du Président Kabila  était plus dans la ligne des mouvements récents qu’il a fait pour consolider  le pouvoir dans le cadre de sa présidence. Il a dit que le dialogue devrait prendre en considération des méthodes moins coûteuses d’élection. Pour beaucoup c’est le signal que Kabila a l’intention d’envisager des élections indirectes  à la place du vote populaire direct mandaté constitutionnellement.  Un regard détaché à l’histoire de Kabila révèle une perversion constante des lois nationales et de la réforme de la constitution afin de préserver et de consolider son pouvoir. L’exemple clef est la réforme constitutionnelle de 2011, qui a changé les élections présidentielles de deux tours à celle d’un tour où l’élu emporte tout, ce qui permet à un candidat de gagner la présidence avec moins de cinquante pour cent des votes.

Kabila s’adresse rarement au people congolais, ce discours est l’un parmi les rares où il a parlé directement à la nation cette dernière année. Il a pu être poussé à le faire et à faire face à la question du dialogue national à cause des pressions de l’UDPS. La tête de l’UDPS a posé un date limite le 30 Novembre pour organiser le dialogue nationale à défaut de quoi ils retireraient leur participation. 

La lentille à travers de laquelle on peut regarder le discours de Kabila est dans le contexte de ses essais effrénés pour rester au pouvoir à n’importe quel prix. L’organisation du dialogue national est la dernière et la probablement la plus faible tentative pour sécuriser un minimum de légitimité pour son maintien au pouvoir. Quelques unes des stratégies de Kabila pour rester au pouvoir comprennent 1. Amendement à la constitution – pendant les neuf premiers mois de 2014, il est apparu que c’était le principal moyen de Mr. Kabila pour rester au pouvoir. Sa coalition majoritaire a même essayé de forcer un amendement à la constitution  par l’intermédiaire du parlement en Septembre 2014 mais a échoué. Des forces consistantes et importantes à travers le Congo ( Société civile, Eglise catholique, opposition, jeunesse)  ainsi que la communauté internationale forcèrent Mr. Kabila a ajourner l’objectif de modifier complètement la constitution de façon à se maintenir au pouvoir. La demission force du Président du Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore par un mouvement populaire en Octobre 2014 alors qu’il cherchait à modifier la constitution de son pays a vraisemblablement lancé le signal du danger de sa tentative et de son aspect hasardeux à Kabila. 

2. Différer par l’intermédiaire du recensement et des lois électorales. – wavec la voie constitutionnelle bloquée, Mr. Kabila a ensuite tenté de modifier les lois électorales congolaises de façon à ce qu’un recensement ( de nombreux experts affirmant qu’il faudrait trois à quatre ans pour organiser un recensement, repoussant donc la tenue des élections au plus tôt en 2018) serait exigé avant l’organisation des élections. Un mouvement populaire a éclaté entre le 19 et le 22  Janvier 2015 à Telema, entraînant la mort de 42 personnes provoquée par les forces de sécurité de Kabila mais réussissant à repousser son effort. Le gouvernement a été forcé de retirer cette loi qui exigeait un recensement avant les élections.

3. Encombrer le calendrier électoral  - sous des pressions internes et externes croissantes  pour établir un calendrier pour les élections la Commission électorale nationale indépendante [Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI)] a publié un calendrier fantaisiste comprenant toutes les élections, des municipales aux présidentielles, donnant priorité aux régionales et aux municipales avant la fin de 2015. Aucune prévision dans ce calendrier n’a été respectée. De nombreuses figures de l’opposition ont argument que les municipales et régionales pouvaient attendre 2016, et donc libérer la programmation électorale afin d’organiser effectivement et complètement les élections présidentielles.

4. Création de nouvelles provinces (découpage) – Au milieu de la programmation des élections, la coalition majoritaire poussa vers une loi demandant le création de nouvelles provinces (de 11 à 26) par la constitution de 2006. La loi n’avait pas été mise en œuvre depuis huit ans que Kabila était au pouvoir sous l’actuelle constitution. (L’actuelle constitution a été ratifiée en Février 2006, cinq années après que Joseph Kabila ait pris le pouvoir, après l’assassinat de Laurent Désiré Kabila en 2001) De nombreux observateurs virent ceci comme une autre tentative de repousser les élections de 2016, considérant spécialement que la commission électorale n’était pas en position d’organiser des élections dans ces nouvelles provinces. En dernière analyse, les élections ne furent pas tenues dans ces provinces nouvelles, cependant, à travers un règlement controversé, Kabila fût à même de désigner des commissionnaires pour leur gestion.

5. Insuffisamment financer la commission électorale nationale : – La CENI a récemment declare qu’elle n’avait pas les moyens d’organiser des élections et plus tard a déclare que le gouvernement n’avait finance qu’un petit pourcentage du budget d’organisation des élections. La CENI dit que le gouvernement n’a financé que 24% du budget en 2014 et 22% depuis 2015. L’absence de support gouvernemental est considéré comme une des stratégies du régime de Kabila  pour ralentir le processus et atermoyer les élections comme un fait accompli. 

6. Le dialogue national – après avoir échoué à créer un consensus national lors de la consultation nationale de 2013, Kabila est revenu à un modèle identique sous le déguisement du dialogue national. Ceci représente ses dernières tentatives pour établir sa légitimité de se maintenir au pouvoir au-delà de Décembre 2016. Un partenaire peu probable dans ce dialogue est le principal parti de l’opposition l’UDPS. Une coalition de forces d’opposition sous le nom de"Dynamic for Unified Action of the Opposition [Dynamique pour l'unité d'actions de l'opposition] ainsi que le Group of Seven  or G7 ( un groupe dissident formé de partis différents de la majorité de Kabila) ont boycotté ce dialogue en le voyant justement comme une dernière tentative de Kabila pour se maintenir au pouvoir. En fait, le G7 et la Dynamique d’opposition ont appelé à des manifestations et accroissent leur pression sur le régime de Kabila afin qu’il respecte la constitution.

Afin de comprendre les racines de l’actuelle incertitude politique et de l’instabilité, il est vital que soit clair le but central de Kabila qui est de rester au pouvoir. Il sait qu’il ne peut se maintenir au pouvoir uniquement par la force, c’est pourquoi il tente n’importe quelle forme de légitimité dans sa folle poursuite du pouvoir. Ses options sont de plus en plus limitées et à la fin, ses démarches vont certainement échouer. Une des raisons majeure qui limite les options de Kabila est en partie due à la pression qu’exerce la population sur lui. Les Congolais de toutes obédiances sont unis dans leur determination de voir la constitution respectée et que le Président Kabila cede son siege en Décembre 2016. Il y a une insatisfaction presque totale à l’égard de son gouvernement et un accord étendu sur le fait qu’il doive respecter la constitution et abandonner la présidence. 

L’Eglise catholique (voir la declaration du 24 Novembre), l’opposition politique, le G7, les organisations de la société civile, les formations de la jeunesse et les anciens membres du parti politique de Kabila ainsi que le gouverneur de la province du Katanga, Moïse Katumbi  ont appelé la Président Kabila à respecter la constitution et à se retirer à la fin de son mandat.

La jeunesse a payé un prix particulièrement élevé en sang et en pertes humaines.  Elle a été abattue dans les rues, arrêtée, exile et privée de ses droits constitutionnels à se rassembler pacifiquement. Même lors du rassemblement bénin pour protester contre l’augmentation des frais de scolarisation, les forces de sécurité ont été appelées et ont lancé des gaz lacrymogènes tout comme cela avait été  fait récemment avec les étudiants de l’Institut supérieur d’architecture et d’urbanisme de Kinshasa.

Comme Joseph Kabila entre dans la dernière année de sa présidence, la pression s’accroît afin qu’il respecte la constitution et libère son siege en Décembre 2016. Les Congolais sont unis dans la défense de la constitution et la protection des avancées de la république naissante qui adviennent dans la période d’après-guerre de ce pays. Si les élections sont bien tenues en 2016n, ce sera grâce à la vigilance et à la pression provenant des filles et des fils du Congo.
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Rester informés des dernières mises à jour via Twitter @congofriends.
Découvrez les dernières informations du movement des jeunes du Congo sur Telema.org

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Kabila's Speech: Path to Glissement?

Kabila's Speech: Path to Glissement?1
By
Kambale Musavuli, Spokesperson

In less than one year (November 2016), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is supposed to organize presidential elections. However, a tremendous amount of uncertainty surrounds the organizing of the elections, which would ostensibly usher in a new president and mark the first peaceful transition of power in the history of the country. Congo's main opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) had been in talks with the Kabila regime to organize a national dialogue that would hopefully, help to avoid a worsening of the current electoral crisis (one that is being orchestrated by the Kabila regime).

President Kabila spoke to the nation on Saturday, November 28th to address the matter of the national dialogue.  Earlier on the same day, Kabila's government arrested about a dozen activists in Goma. They were marching peacefully to bring attention to the unconscionable loss of life in the city of Beni.  Kabila outlined five priorities for the planned national dialogue in his speech to the nation:
1. Credible voters roll
2. Electoral calendar
3. Secure electoral process
4. Financing of the elections
5. The role of international partners

Kabila's speech was marked mostly by what he did not say. He was silent on the question of whether he would step down in December 2016 upon the completion of his second five-year term per Congo's constitution. Kabila did not specify a date for the dialogue, he merely referenced the organizing of a preparatory committee.

President Kabila's speech was more in alignment with recent moves he has made to consolidate power in the presidency. He said that the dialogue should take into consideration less costly methods of electing leaders. For many, this is a signal of Kabila's intentions to have the president of the country elected indirectly as opposed to the constitutionally mandated direct popular vote. A sober look at Kabila’s history reveals a consistent perversion of the country’s laws and constitution to preserve and consolidate power. The quintessential example is the constitutional reform of 2011, that changed the presidential elections from two rounds to a single round winner take all which, allowed a candidate to win the presidency with a less than 50 percent of the vote.

Kabila rarely speaks to the Congolese people; this speech is one of the few times he has spoken directly to the nation in the past year. He may have been prompted to address the people and the question of the national dialogue due to pressure from the UDPS. The UDPS leadership issued a November 30th deadline for organizing a national dialogue otherwise they would withdraw their participation.

The lens through which one must view Kabila's address to the nation is in the context of his dogged pursuit to remain in power by any means necessary. The organizing of a national dialogue is the latest and probably weakest attempt to secure a modicum of legitimacy for his holding on to power. Some of the schemes that Kabila has pursued to legitimize remaining in power include:

1. Amendment of the constitution - during the first nine months of 2014, it appeared that this was Mr. Kabila's main path for remaining in power. His majority coalition even tried to force a constitutional amendment through parliament in September 2014 but failed. Consistent and strong push back from forces within the Congo (civil society, Catholic Church, Opposition, youth) and the international community forced Mr. Kabila to table the goal of outright changing the constitution in order to extend his stay in office. The ousting of Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore by a popular uprising in October 2014 when he tried to change his country's constitution, most likely sent a signal to Kabila that such a path would be an arduous and dangerous one.

2. Delay via census & electoral law - with the constitutional change path blocked, Mr. Kabila then attempted to change Congo's electoral law so that a census (many experts contend that it would take three to four years to organize a census, hence, pushing the elections to at earliest 2018) would be required before organizing elections. A popular uprising dubbed #Telema, from January 19 - 22, 2015 that resulted in at least 42 dead at that hand of Kabila's security forces succeeded in pushing back on this effort. The government was forced to withdraw the law that would require a census before holding of elections.

3. Stacking the electoral calendar - Under increasing internal and external pressure to establish a calendar for the elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) published an unrealistic calendar for elections ranging from local to presidential, prioritizing the local and provincial elections before the end of 2015. None of the scheduled local and provincial elections have been held. Many opposition figures have argued that the local and provincial elections should be shelved until after the Presidential and legislative elections in 2016, hence freeing up the electoral schedule to competently and effectively organize the elections.

4. Implementation of new provinces (découpage) - In the midst of scheduling elections, Kabila's majority coalition rammed through a law requiring the installation of new provinces (from 11 to 26) per the 2006 constitution. The law had not been acted upon in over eight years since Kabila had been in power under the current constitution (The current constitution was ratified in 2006, five years after Joseph Kabila had been in power, after taking over after the assassination of Laurent desire Kabila in 2001). Many observers saw this as yet another attempt to ultimately delay the 2016 elections, especially considering that the electoral commission was not in a position to organize elections in these new provinces. In the final analysis, elections were not held in the new provinces, however, through a controversial ruling from the Constitutional Court, Kabila was able to appoint commissioners to run the new provinces.

5. Underfunding the National Electoral Commission - The CENI recently declared that it did not have the means to organize elections and later claimed that the government had only funded a small percentage of the budget for organizing the elections. The CENI says that the government only funded 24% of the budget in 2014 and 22% so far in 2015. The lack of government support for the CENI is regarded as a part of the strategy on the part of the Kabila regime to slow the process and make a delay in the elections a fait accompli.

6. National dialogue - after failing to arrive at a national consensus from the national consultations of 2013, Kabila has returned to a similar playbook under the guise of a national Dialogue.  This represents his latest attempt to establish legitimacy for staying in power beyond December 2016. An unlikely partner in this Dialogue is leading opposition party UDPS. A coalition of opposition forces under the name "Dynamic for Unified Action of the Opposition"(Dynamique pour l’unité d’actions de l’opposition in French) and the Group of Seven  or G7 (a breakaway group of political parties within Kabila’s majority coalition) have boycotted the dialogue as they rightly see it as the latest scheme on the part of the Kabila regime to hold on to power. In fact, both the G7 and the “Dynamique de l’opposition” have called for demonstrations and increased pressure on the Kabila regime to respect the constitution.

Vital to understanding the roots of the current political uncertainty and instability in the DRC, is to be clear that the central aim of Joseph Kabila is to remain in power. He knows that he cannot hold on to power solely by force, hence he is in a mad pursuit to establish any form of legitimacy to justify holding on to the presidency. His options are increasingly limited and in the end, his schemes are likely to fail. A major reason why Kabila’s options are limited is due in large part to the pressure being put on him by the population. Congolese across the board are unified in their determination to assure that the constitution be respected and that President Kabila steps down in December 2016. There is near total dissatisfaction with the leadership of his government and widespread agreement that he must respect the constitution and step down from the presidency.

The Catholic Church (see November 24th declaration), the political opposition, the G7, civil society organizations, youth formations, respected and popular surgeon, Dr. Dennis Mukwege, former member of Kabila’s political party and governor of the old Katanga province, Moise Katumbi, have all called on President Kabila to respect the constitution and step down at the end of his term.

The youth have paid a particularly dear price in blood and loss of life. Young people have been gunned down in the streets, arrested, driven into exile and deprived of their constitutional right to peacefully assemble. Even when students assemble for benign aims such as a protest against a hike in school fees, the security forces are called out to tear gas them as was done recently with the students from the Superior Institute for Architecture and Urbanism in Kinshasa.

As Joseph Kabila enters the final year of his presidency, the pressure will increase on him to respect the constitution and step down in December 2016. Congolese are united in the defense of the constitution and the protection of the nascent democratic advances that have occurred during the post-war period of the country. If elections are in fact held in 2016, it will be due to the vigilance and pressure coming from the sons and daughters of the Congo.
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Notes: 1. Glissement  - French word which means to stretch out, slide or shift. In the context of the political situation in the DRC, it appears that President Kabila would like to stretch out the electoral process beyond his constitutional mandate, which ends in December 2016.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Free Radek

Free Radek
By Francine Mukwaya
UK Representative
Friends of The Congo

Congolese youth have stepped up their resistance against the repressive regime of Joseph Kabila. The regime has responded by killing, jailing and running into exile the youth. One of the victims of the Regime’s repressive measures is popular Kinshasa-based rapper, Radek Supreme (Mapeki N’Landu Junior).  The Congo’s National Intelligence Agency (ANR) arrested Radek on May 19, 2015. He is currently being held at the ANR compound in Kinshasa. He is subject to severe pressure on the part of Kabila’s intelligence services and is being held in inhumane conditions.

Radek was born on October 25, 1981 in Kinshasa, capital of the DRC. Radek is a husband and a father. He is married to Dora Agoloa and the two have a young girl together. Radek played an integral role in mobilizing Kinshasa youth during the #Telema uprisings in January 2015. He has used his platform as a rapper to critique government policies, especially the attempt on the part of Joseph Kabila to hold on to power beyond the two-term mandate enshrined in Congo’s constitution.

Since January, many Congolese have stepped up their resistance to Joseph Kabila’s attempt to hold on to power beyond his constitutional mandate. Opposition politicians, youth leaders, church leaders, civil society, even members of Kabila’s ruling coalition and most notably former member of Kabila’s political party and former governor of the Katanga province Moise Katumbi, have all spoken out against president Kabila’s aim to remain in power by any means necessary.

Radek does not shy away from political messages in his music. The Congolese government seems to be concerned about his overtly political rap. In addition, the government has linked him to the so-called combatants (militant Congolese Diaspora formation that mobilizes for Kabila to step down from office). The government has also associated Radek with the latest incarnation of FILIMBI, whose members organized a forum in March of 2015, which resulted in the arrests of Burkina Faso and Senegalese activists, diplomats, journalists and Congolese youth. Two of the Congolese youth (Yves Makwambala and Fred Bauma) that the Kabila regime arrested are still in prison eight months later. These youth have been wrongly accused of terrorism and sedition simply for organizing a forum to educate their fellow youth and the Kinshasa residents about their civic responsibility as citizens of the DRC.

It is vital that we call for the release of Radek, Fred, Yves and all political prisoners locked up in Kabila’s jail.

Libérez Radek

Libérez Radek
Par Francine Mukwaya
Représentante de la Grande-Bretagne
Friends of the Congo


La jeunesse congolaise a fait un nouveau pas dans sa résistance au régime répressif de Joseph Kabila. Le régime a rendu des comptes sur les meurtres, l’incarcération, et la déportation en exil de sa jeunesse. Une des victimes des mesures de ce régime répressif est le rapper populaire Radek Supreme (Mapeki N’Landu Junior).  Les services de l’Agence nationale de renseignements [National Intelligence Agency (ANR)] a arrêté Radek  le 19 Mai 2015. Il est actuellement détenu dans le camp ANR de Kinshasa. Il est victime de pressions sévères et est détenu dans des conditions inhumaines.

Radek est né le 25 Octobre 1981 à Kinshasa, capital de la République démocratique du Congo. Il est un père et un époux. Il est marié à Dora Agoloa et ils ont une petite fille. Radek a joué un rôle crucial dans la mobilisation de la jeunesse de Kinshasa pendant les soulèvements de #Telema en Janvier 2015. Il a utilisé sa plateforme de rappeur pour critiquer la politique gouvernementale, spécialement les tentatives de Joseph Kabila de garder le pouvoir au-delà des deux termes de son mandat inscrits dans la constitution. 

Depuis Janvier de nombreux congolais ont accru leur résistance aux tentatives de Joseph Kabila de garder le pouvoir au-delà de son mandat constitutionnel.  Des politiciens de l’opposition, des leaders de la jeunesse, des chefs de l’église, la société civile, et même des membres de la coalition de Kabila, dont notablement l’ancien membre du parti politique de Kabila et ancien gouverneur de la province du Katanga, Moise Katumbi, ont tous pris position contre l’objectif de Kabila de se maintenir au pouvoir par tous les moyens possibles.

Radek ne néglige pas les messages politiques dans sa musique. Le Gouvernement congolais semble être préoccupé par son rap ouvertement politique. En plus, le gouvernement l’a lié aux soi-disant combattants ( la formation militante de la diaspora congolaise qui s’est mobilisée pour exclure Kabila de son poste) Le Gouvernement a aussi associé Radek avec les dernières incarnations du FILIMBI, dont les membres ont organisé un forum en Mars 2015 qui a entrainé l’arrestation d’activistes du Burkina Fasso et du Sénégal, de diplomates, de journalistes et de jeunes congolais. Deux de ces jeunes (Yves Makwambala and Fred Bauma) que le régime de Kabila a arrêté sont toujours en prison huit mois plus tard. Ces jeunes ont a été faussement accuses de terrorisme et de sedition pour avoir simplement organize un forum afin d’éduquer leur compatriotes et les résidents de Kinshasa sur leurs responsabilités civiques en tant que citoyens de la République démocratique du Congo.

Il est vital que nous exigions la libération de Radek, de Fred, Yves et de tous les prisonniers politiques incarcérés dans les prisons de Kabila.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Letter From G7 to President Kabila

Kinshasa September 14, 2015
Copy for information
To members of the Political Bureau of the Presidential Majority, MP

ALL IN KINSHASA

To his Excellency Mr. Joseph Kabila Kabange
President of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Moral Authority of Presidential Majority
IN KINSHASA/GOMBE
(With the expression of our most deferent tribute)

His Excellency, the President of the Republic

1. Let us be allowed to recall that ten years ago, the call to general mobilization and rehabilitation of the country, you invited us to join you in order to establish a welded political family around a shared vision for the future of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the framework of a new political order established by a new constitution.

2. Together we conducted the campaign which led to the adoption of that constitution on  December 19, 2005, by 85 percent of Congolese population.

3. This is the occasion for us, Mr. President of the Republic to recall and affirm that the partnership we have committed ten years ago, is based on the republican and democratic values enshrined in the constitution of February 18, 2006.

4. Subsequently, we are mobilized to win the elections in order to give a wide majority of the government and have continued to support your action in the head of the country. In this action, the meeting of legitimate aspirations of Congolese people has remained a constant concern. In spite of failures and mistakes related to all human doing, we must recognize that under your leadership, the structural transformation of Congolese society and of the country economy has been well set. Although today social inequalities are still too numerous and poverty continue to hit severely the vast majority of the population, there is not less truth that significant  progress have been accomplished in the areas related to the daily life of our compatriots.

5. It is in that mind  and  in view to safeguard our common values and achievements above mentioned that in last February, after sad events that bereaved the capital as well as a lot of cities of the country and based on the doubt that had conquer Congolese society, particularly among the youth, it was our duty as members of Presidential majority to let you know about our preoccupation  on the need to reinforce the contract of trust between the power in place and Congolese people, on one side and among our institutions and international community on the other.

6. Our deep motivation in addressing to your high authority the two letters from last February and March, was on one side to bring our humble contribution to the consolidation of democracy and of civilian peace in order to save our country from useless politics crises and the other side to avoid presidential majority in power  to have responsibility of a such crises, with unexpected consequences and which we cannot avoid in our political family along with our country  the Democratic Republic of Congo, to come out grown.
7. As a reminder, we have expressed in this correspondence our worries about old reviews or change of our constitution, attempts to rewrite electoral laws, rushing dismemberment of our provinces, controversial organization of local and municipal elections and internal functioning of Presidential Majority, our political family.

8. Today, we are noticing rushing installation of new provinces has led to the weakening of the state and misrule in national territory administration. Moreover, this chaotic situation has brought the constitutional court recently installed, not only to notice it, but also to suggest exceptional rules that upset the constitution.

9. As for the next elections awaited by Congolese people, every day that goes by, brings a lot of confusions instead of clarity. In fact, it is for example, very difficult to understand  when CENI and your high authority recognize the relevance of the enlistment of new major, brings the parliament to adopt in a particular way the law on the allocation of seats for local and municipal elections.

10. In truth, the last extraordinary session of the parliament and the order of constitutional court a brought under the request of CENI, Tuesday, Courant September 8, has led to the crush in most of Congolese people that there are unspoken intentions of not respecting the constitution, to discredit and to desecrate institutions on which are based all democratic regime, as it could exist another way that institutional order for which millions of Congolese have made a lot of sacrifices.

11. Moreover, due to the weakening of National cohesion and the slow pace of democratization process, we are experiencing in some parts of National territories interethnic tensions and increase of crimes organized such as cyclic killings in the region of Beni in North Kivu.

12. In this context,  to come back to the consent and historical compromising laboriously obtained by the forces of Congolese nation in Sun City, Institutional order written inside the constitution will only increase mistrust towards leaders  and generate instability and insecurity His excellency  Mr. President of the Republic.

13. The gravity of the situation and the risks that it weight on the future of  The Democratic Republic of Congo call to courageous political initiatives as well as on  your side and to the one of Presidential Majority.

14. Facing this situation and when and where  to prepare for it---And in addition Outside---A political dialogue, we are obliged to bring to you our contribution to the search for effective solutions to the major challenges of the time.

15. In fact, it is fundamental to ensure an absolute respect for the constitution. That respect is a pledge for civil peace, security, stability and unity of our country. As taught by history, in particular the one for our country, those fundamentals for the development of a nation does not come from one man, it is providential also from the action of all citizens sharing same values and looking towards same direction.

16.  Have no doubt, the dialogue projected as a failure if it is not based on strong will to affirm the inviolability of our constitution, and to respect all dispositions particularly concerning fundamental values of our national solidarity, freedom of expression and manifestation, electoral deadlines and political changes.

17. As for Electoral process, in search of peace and stability, the organization for free elections, transparency, credibility and settled constitute essential premise in the establishment of democracy and establishment of state of the law. Not being able to organize provincial and senatorial elections in due time and now even the one that are less expensive, mayors and assistant mayors of provinces are surprised by the general suspicion which is set up against us, willing to keep local elections, municipal and urbane.

18. That is why, Mr. President of the Republic, in regard to financial challenges and based on the need of ensuring management of provinces and of respecting what it written on articles 73 and 103 of the constitution, we are before a strong obligation to stop at the organization of presidential elections, legislative, senatorial and provincial, based on a revised file.

19. In the matter of this file, it is important to be reminded that all Congolese must fulfill legal conditions to be voter and eligible, freely exercise his constitutional laws. Therefore, the enrollment to the new majors and cleaning of electoral files are compulsory and appear to us as non- negotiable.

20. Concerning the election of mayors and assistant mayors of new provinces, it is important to mention that it must be organized. It does not fit to use the fishy statement by the recent constitutional court pledge which will only delay the process. Failing to keep it on time for technical  objective, urgent modification of the programming law must be in place in the sense of its progressive application, in which this or that province is or is not ready materially or politicaly.

21. It goes without saying that all current difficulties and the delay accumulated in the organization of elections call therefore an adjustment of the electoral calendar. However, this adjustment must imperatively respect the constitutions deadline and be in full transparency. In order to meet the above concerns, it is important to prune the electoral process of all that is the overloaded nature, to delay the deadline and to worsen the climate of peace and national cohesion already fragile.

22. At one year of the elections, eager to preserve democratically the power, in order to continue the work of country recovery agreed with you, the presidential majority must prepare to tackle in complete serenity and in conformity with its chart, the next elections in view of political alternation. We believe that our majority has everything to win in transparency and succeed the bet of political alternation in peace. The actual strategy seems to be suicidal. It is important to adopt another one, more realistic and carrier of success.

23. Such is the approach we are suggestions in order to defuse tension that, since more than one year, increases in the country, to defuse the internal political situation and find together strong solutions towards major challenges in which the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing at the moment, meaning the one for organizations of democratic, transparent and credible elections.

Please accept, His Excellency Mr. President of the Republic, the expression of our highest consideration.



1.    SOCIAL MOVEMENT FOR RENEWAL, MSR
SIGNATURE - YVES MOBANDO-YOGO
2.    ALLIANCE FOR RENEWAL OF CONGO, ARC
OLIVIER KAMITATU ETSU- SIGNATURE
3.    CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDC
SIGNATURE- JOSE ENDUNEO BONONGE
4.    FUTURE OF CONGO, ACO
BANZA MALOBA DANY – SIGNATURE
5.    NATIONAL UNION OF FEDERALIST OF CONGO, UNAFEC
ANTOINE GABRIEL KISUNGAWA-KU-MASA - SIGNATURE
6.    NATIONAL UNION OF DEMOCRATS FEDERALIST, UNADEF
CHARLES MWANDO NSIMBA- SIGNATURE
7.    ALLIANCE OF DEMOCRATS FOR THE PROGESS, MSDD, ADP/MSDD
SIGNATURE – CHRISTOPHE LUTUNDULA –APALA –APALA