DR Congo: Report on youth activities in the days surrounding the December 19 transfer of power

 

from Pascal Mugaruku, Africa Reconciled
 
On Monday, December 19th, just before midnight, Congolese youth intensified their courageous stance for peace, justice and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They descended into the streets beating pans, blowing whistles and chanting to signal the departure of Joseph Kabila. This providential date of December 19th, was the last day Joseph Kabila was to serve as president of the DRC per the country's constitution. Unfortunately, President Kabila has demonstrated that he is determined to remain in power by any means necessary, including ordering his security forces to execute innocent civilians.
 
Leading up to December 19th, the Kabila regime has disappeared youth, arrested and driven political opponents into exile, deployed police and military throughout the country among the civilian population, shut down media and on Sunday night blocked social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. On Tuesday, 26 lives were lost in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi alone. The numbers killed, injured and jailed throughout the country are still being verified.
 
In spite of the increased repressive measures, the population, especially the youth are determined to rid themselves of a system and a regime that has demonstrated little respect for the country's laws and great disdain for the people. Kabila's government has delivered little in regard to employment, health, education, and security, especially in the Beni territory where the population are victims of incessant lethal attacks and assassinations.
 
Due to what the Congolese people face daily, the youth are resolute about bringing about fundamental change in the Congo. Their aim is not merely to rid themselves of the Kabila regime and the feckless political class but to create a new political culture where leaders prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people over their pecuniary personal interests and those of external powers.
 
December 19th was the end of Joseph Kabila's constitutional mandate but the date also served as a seminal moment in the youth social justice push in the country. The youth no longer recognize Joseph Kabila as president of the DRC. The Badibanga government promulgated by Mr. Kabila has no legitimacy whatsoever among the population, particularly the youth. In fact, a key segment of the youth are calling for a robust resistance movement, grounded in non-violent, disruptive, civil disobedience and direct actions.
 
Join in solidarity with the youth who are undertaking a sublime and dignified struggle for lasting change in the heart of Africa.
 
Take Four Actions Right Now to Support the Congolese youth:
  1. Make a financial contribution to help sustain the youth's ongoing actions inside the Congo.
  2. Update your social media profile(s) and share images and stories from youth inside the country
  3. Encourage your family, friends, loved ones and others in your network to support the Congo youth movement.
  4. Appeal to your organization(s) to send a solidarity statement supporting the social justice movement in the D.R. Congo.
 
Pascal Mugaruku, Africa Reconciled, DR Congo