Representatives of the Guarantors of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region, namely the African Union, the United Nations, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), met on 22 November 2017 at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The purpose of the meeting was to review the status of preparations for elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and discuss coordinated regional and international support to the electoral process. 

The meeting was hosted by the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security and was attended by representatives of the Republic Angola, the Republic of the Congo and the Republic of South Africa, as well as the United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the DRC and Head of MONUSCO, the Executive Secretary of the ICGLR, the representative of the Executive Secretary of SADC, the African Union Special Representative in the DRC and the representative of the UNOAU.

At the onset, the meeting was briefed by the Chairperson of the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), Mr. Corneille Nangaa, on the status of preparations of the electoral process in the DRC.

Following discussions, the Guarantors of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region:

• Reaffirmed their commitment to support a democratic and peaceful transition in the DRC through credible and transparent elections in line with the 31 December 2016 Global Political and Inclusive Agreement;

• Welcomed the publication by the CENI of the electoral calendar for the holding of presidential, legislative and provincial elections on 23 December 2018;
• Called on all stakeholders to create the necessary conditions to ensure the holding of timely, peaceful and credible elections;

• Urged the Government of the DRC to

i. provide the necessary and timely financial and logistical resources to allow for the implementation of the electoral calendar;

ii. ensure the required political space throughout the country, including freedom of peaceful assembly and equitable access to state media; and

iii. fully and effectively implement the confidence building measures as stipulated in the 31 December 2016 Agreement;

• Encourage the Government of the DRC to continue to exert every effort, with the support of MONUSCO, to neutralize all the negative forces operating in eastern DRC, as well as to ensure security throughout the country to create a conducive environment for the holding of elections;

• Expressed their support to the appointment of former President of Namibia, Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba, the Chairperson of the AU Panel of the Wise, as Special Envoy of SADC to the DRC, and reiterated support to his mandate.

• Pledged the commitment of the Guarantors to promote concerted regional and international support to the DRC in the preparations for the holding of peaceful and credible elections;

• Called on the international community to provide support to the electoral process in the DRC, including through the technical group of elections experts chaired by an expert of the African Union with the support of the United Nations;

• Agreed to undertake a visit of the PSCF Guarantors at ministerial-level to the DRC in January 2018 to engage all stakeholders on the full implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement;

• Recommended the convening of a high-level meeting on the DRC on the margins of the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in January 2018.

• The participants thanked the AU Commission for convening the meeting and agreed to remain seized with the matter.

Posted by Dagne Semu

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