A GLANCE ON PRIORITIES FOR 2019 ZOOM DPSD
The country is lost into a political crisis, that the facilitator of the African Union ‘’Edem Kodjo’’ and the Congolese episcopate have been trying to defuse by mediating between the government and the opposition parties. An agreement, signed on December 31st 2016, had introduced a transition period during which power would be co-managed by President Joseph Kabila and the opposition, until the presidential election in late 2017. The electoral calendar, published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), subsequently decided to hold the presidential election in December 2018.
But the tension rises again as the elections approach. The debate is centered around the voting machine considered unconstitutional or a cheating machine, as well as the electoral form considered unreliable. The tensions are so great that one of the opposition part is threatening to boycott the elections, to appeal to civil disobedience and to organize demonstrations in all countries.
In addition, the border regions, specially to the east, North Kivu and South Kivu, are known to be rather unstable: many armed groups have been waging war there and spreading terror for many years.
In this context, peace and security in the Democratic Republic of Congo remains fragile and is a matter of concern.
Zoom DPSD observes with great concern the evolution of the political climate in Burundi. While the Ugandan mediation, initiated in July 2015, is struggling to find solutions, the urgency remains real.
The longer the current political conflict lasts, the more fears, rancor and the risk of armed conflict will increase. Not to forget that since the beginning of the crisis, alongside the political opposition, there have been at least four rebel groups who have declared themselves to be fighting the Burundi government: FOREBU (Republican Forces of Burundi), RED-TABARA (Resistance for a State of Law) UPR (Union of Patriots for the Revolution) MPR – Abarundi (Popular Resistance Movement(.
Considering the flagrant failure of sub-regional mediation, there is an urgent need to revitalize mediation in order to take advantage of the available resources in the international and non-governmental organizations.
The involvement of non-state bodies in the peaceful resolution of the crisis could be an asset that would allow holding inclusive negotiations.