EU urges SA to con­vince DRC to hold elec­tions

CityPress - - News -

A high-rank­ing EU diplo­mat this week urged South Africa and the re­gion to get more in­volved in nudg­ing the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of the Congo (DRC) to­wards elec­tions be­cause there was a real pos­si­bil­ity of the coun­try col­laps­ing.

“The EU is say­ing, find a way to or­gan­ise the elec­tions. He [DRC Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila] wants to or­gan­ise the elec­tions, but he isn’t,” EU po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tor Jean Christophe Bel­liard told City Press.

“Now we are in a void. There has been no elec­tion, and the elec­tion should have taken place. Ka­bila’s power is not based on some­thing strong. A col­lapse is pos­si­ble in Kin­shasa, in Ka­sai there is fight­ing.”

Bel­liard said EU coun­tries would not be able to pro­vide mil­i­tary as­sis­tance in an emer­gency. Armies in Africa were also stretched, he said. Bel­liard said Ka­bila should en­sure elec­tions were or­gan­ised, while the op­po­si­tion should unite – an is­sue com­pli­cated by the death of prom­i­nent op­po­si­tion leader Éti­enne Tshisekedi six months ago.

Ka­bila’s gov­ern­ment has re­peat­edly de­nied that it was re­spon­si­ble for or­gan­is­ing elec­tions, say­ing it was up to the elec­tions agency. –

Carien du Plessis

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