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Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen at the Security Council meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

11.01.2019 - Speech

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Key messages:

- Congolese population has demonstrated impressive commitment to democracy: voted despite obstacles; pressed for democratic change

- Take note of the provisional results of the presidential elections published by CENI on Wednesday.

- Also take note that results have been contested by part of the opposition and civil society. Take those concerns very seriously.

- Electoral process: Does not end with provisional results. Further process: Needs to be fair and transparent. Fully support civil society actors, including CENCO, in ensuring greater transparency.

- All actors: refrain from violence; use peaceful avenues to settle disputes about outcome of elections.


Further points:

1. Look back to election day:

  • Deepest respect for all Congolese voters who have sent a strong democratic signal by voting on 30th December.
  • Positive: voting took place in an overwhelmingly peaceful and calm atmosphere.
  • Congolese population has not only actively called for change in the country - but also designed it. Symbol: People in eastern Congo (Beni) organized their “own” election, despite the official cancellation. This gives hope! Important to hear the voices of those in whose districts the elections did not take place.
  • In this context, we welcome the important role that civilian Congolese election observation is playing throughout the electoral process.  

2. Turn to the provisional result of Presidential election published Wednesday:

  • Take note of the provisional result published by the Congolese Electoral Commission on the presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Also note that these results have been contested by part of the opposition and civil society. We take these concerns very seriously.
  • In this situation, we call on all sides to refrain from any violence and to seek peaceful solutions within the framework of the procedures provided for this purpose. We need a thorough and independent examination of all complaints in accordance with constitutional principles and the rule of law by the competent bodies. 

    We believe all actors must try to rebuild trust. Transparency is needed for trust to come back. Call on CENI to release detailed polling data, including how they arrived at the results, also for the parliamentary and provincial elections.  

  • That also means that the blockades of the Internet and social media must be entirely lifted, so that a free and transparent exchange of information is possible.

3. Looking forward:

  • We will follow the further development very closely. What we are witnessing now is an important moment for Congo.
  • We have consistently advocated a credible, fair, transparent electoral process. 
  • Important also to recognize the high expectations of the population throughout this entire process. The voters have expressed confidence in democratic processes and their expectation of better political and economic participation. Resolving doubts on election results will have a positive impact on peace and stability in this country and the region.
  • Fully support the statement of the SG: continued support and commitment of the United Nations, in collaboration with regional actors and international partners, for the consolidation of peace, stability and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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