DR Congo: Descriptive report on the current situation by our member organization
The descriptive report on the arrests of young people in the Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the day of 31 July 2017 corresponded to the end of the operations of enlisting voters throughout the national territory. This is in accordance with the agreement of 31 December 2016, known as the "New Year's Eve Agreement". For some time there has been information that the organization of elections would not be possible at the end of this year. These comments will be confirmed by the mouth of Mr. Corneille NANGA, president of the Independent National Electoral Commission / CENI. Meanwhile, the operations of the enlistment of voters that should normally end yesterday July 31 continue. This statement by the President of the CENI is supplemented by the remarks of the communicators of the ruling majority and the behavior of the government presided over by President Joseph KABILA constitute a manifest lack of will to organize the elections on the conventional date contained in The said Agreement. It is in this context of misunderstanding that the citizens' movements and several other civil society organizations of the DRC have chosen the date of July 31, 2017, to remind both national opinion (Congolese rulers, CENI , ...) and internationally, that in accordance with the agreement of the New Year's Eve, enlistment operations are supposed to be completed and that by December 31, 2017, at the latest the elections must take place.
In addition, with or without elections, KABILA must leave. These citizen movements preferred to express this by a peaceful demonstration with the handing over of a memorandum stating their demand to the authorities of the CENI in several provinces as well as in the capital of the DRC at the same time. Here is the provisional record of this day of July 31:
- In Bukavu, the police fired live ammunition and made at least 10 wounded, including 1 very serious who is currently in intensive care in a hospital in the square. Several people arrested including journalists.
- In Goma: Streets invaded by the angry population, markets and shops closed, city paralyzed. Around fifty people arrested by now. The director of the ANR (REDOC) appeared in person at the CENI office where a few protesters had arrived despite the deployment of police on all roads. He arrested the delegation of five people, including three LUCHA militants who were being received by the CENI to file a memorandum. He even arrested the Executive Secretary of CENI / North Kivu and journalists (RFI Kiswahili ...) who were present. International journalists saw their equipment confiscated or were forced to format their aircraft. 27 people are detained at the police station in Virunga, others are detained in the town hall, others in the ANR cell, and others in various police cells.
We are waiting for news from Bunia, Uvira, Kalemie, Kolwezi, and Matadi.
On Tuesday, 01 August 2017, in the afternoon, we heard from the release of the young demonstrators arrested yesterday, except five of them. We also note that a fire broke out this afternoon on Tuesday, 01 August at the Central Prison in Goma. Fire trucks were present.
We demand the following:
- We call on the Congolese government to immediately and unconditionally release these young people
- We ask the CENI to publish the electoral calendar
- We call on the international community to put pressure on the Congolese government to organize the elections within the deadline according to the agreement of the Holy Sylvester
- We ask young people to defeat in nonviolence anyone who wants to violate the constitution.
This analysis note was produced by the Africa Reconciled team in collaboration with the youth of Africa Reconciled in Masisi, Goma, Rutshuru and other provinces.