In the face of the dramatic political and humanitarian situation in which the Democratic Republic of Congo is plunged, today the European Parliament – on the initiative of the S&D Group – has adopted a resolution calling on the international community to act, to prevent this key country in Africa’s Great Lakes region from descending into chaos
Elena Valenciano, S&D Group vice-president, said:
“The DRC, a key country for the stability of the Great Lakes region and indeed for the entire country, is on a tightrope. It is time to redouble our efforts so that this country can finally get out of a political crisis that should never have occurred under the Constitution and various political agreements. Under no circumstances can 2018 become another unmet deadline because time ran out. We must work hard to help celebrate the credible, free and fair elections that should take place without the repression of critical voices.”
Maria Arena, Belgian MEP and negotiator for a resolution on behalf of the S&D Group, said:
“Despite the agreement made on New Year’s Eve between the presidential majority and the opposition, signed on 31 December 2016 under the aegis of CENCO (National Episcopal Conference of Congo) setting the terms for the organisation of free, transparent and inclusive presidential and legislative elections during the course of 2017, the deadline was subsequently pushed back by the authorities to 23 December 2018. Doubts persist as to the effective organisation of these elections. Against this background of political tension, peaceful demonstrations are constantly being repressed, arbitrary arrests are multiplying and basic human rights violated. In the face of this tragic situation, Parliament cannot be silent.
“This is why the S&D Group has asked to adopt a resolution in which we call on the European and international authorities to act quickly in order to respond to the injustice that the Congolese people are living, so that this country does not descend into chaos. We also call on Member States, especially those blocking all action at the EU level, to make human rights a top priority.”