Tobias Ellwood, the United Kingdom’s Minister for Africa, says he is deeply concerned about renewed violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Monday’s violence has claimed lives of security personnel and protesters opposed to the continued stay of incumbent Joseph Kabila beyond his constitutionally mandated term which ends in December.
Tobias in an interview late Monday from New York, believes that Kabila could cement his place in the DRC’s political books if he peacefully and democratically transfers power at the end of his term.
One of the greatest legacies President Kabila can leave his people is a peaceful and democratic transition of power, the first in the DRC’s history.
‘‘One of the greatest legacies President Kabila can leave his people is a peaceful and democratic transition of power, the first in the DRC’s history. We urge President Kabila and his government to rapidly deliver on this responsibility,’‘ he said.
According to him, the UK was ready to financially and diplomatically support the DRC’s electoral process but emphasized that, ‘‘the primary responsibility for organising elections rests with the Government of the DRC.’‘
With respect to Monday’s violence in the capital Kinshasa, Tobias said: ‘‘I am deeply concerned about the violence around protests in Kinshasa and other cities including reports that a number of civilians and policemen have been killed.
‘‘I urge both the DRC Government and opposition parties to take measures to calm the situation.’‘
The Minister who was appointed in July this year also emphasized that the Congolese people’s democratic right to peaceful protest must be protected, and as the United Nations Security Council has stated, elections be organized for a peaceful transition of power.