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Nobel winner Mukwege cautions Tshisekedi on deal with Kabila

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Congolese Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Denis Mukwege urged President Felix Tshisekedi to “avoid betraying” the people when he governs the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of a coalition with his predecessor Joseph Kabila’s supporters, in a statement seen by AFP on Saturday.

On Wednesday, pro-Tshisekedi and pro-Kabila parties signed an agreement to form a coalition government led by the Common Front for Congo (FCC), the political party of former President Kabila which holds a huge majority in Congo’s parliament.

“Despite the signing of agreements between your political platform Cap pour le Changement (CACH) and that of the former president, Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC), it is not (too) late for you (…) to recover,” the doctor wrote in his message.

“You must avoid betraying the Congolese people’s desire for real and profound change,” continues the famous Congolese gynaecologist nicknamed “The man who repairs women”.

He urged Tshisekedi to establish a political partnership that would allow him “to fully assume the prerogatives of the office of President of the Republic (…) without constraint from those who managed poorly yesterday”, in an apparent reference to Kabila’s administration.

Many fear that a coalition government with Kabila’s party will give the former president a lot of influence in decision making.

Tshisekedi was elected president in a controversial election last December. Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu rejected the results as a sham, an assertion supported by Congo’s Catholic Church, which deployed 40,000 observers to the polls. African and Western nations initially expressed doubts about the outcome before accepting it.

“With regard to women’s rights, as well as those of the entire Congolese population, we ask you to respect them and ensure that the Constitution is respected,” insists Dr. Mukwege, one of the critical voices of the former regime, in this message issued the day after the celebration of International Women’s day.

The allies of Félix Tshisekedi, proclaimed winner of the December presidential election, were only able to win about 50 seats in the National Assembly, while those of former President Kabila claim at least 330 national deputies out of 485 elected.

Denis Mukwege was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December together with 25-year-old Iraqi Yazidi Nadia Murad for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war.

President Tshisekedi pledged on Friday to fight against early marriage of young girls during the celebration of International Women’s day.


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