Kabila Kills As Congolese Demand Elections

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Moise Katumbi

[Op-Ed]

Since Monday, September 19, several locations within our country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and especially Kinshasa, have been the object of deadly waves of violence, fierce repression and abuses committed by members of the Republican Guard, the Army and the National Police, all acting under the orders of the government.

As of today, we count more than 50 deaths, hundreds of serious injuries and numerous arrests among civilians and opposition activists. These victims have protested peacefully to demand that Presidential elections be held. The people have shown their commitment to democracy and for the respect of the Constitution.

Moreover, following hateful statements by some members of the Presidential majority, punitive raids were orchestrated in Kinshasa, causing fires and deaths in offices and headquarters of political parties who are members of the opposition coalition, the “Rassemblement”.

I pay my respects to the memories of the many victims whose lives were cut short by the savagery of those who have the duty to protect the population. They died defending a great and noble cause. Their sacrifice will not be vain; the country will never forget their courage.

Those who choose to be at the service of an autocratic and bloody regime must answer for their crimes.

I launch here an urgent call for the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and to the leaders of Democratic States around the world to set up an International Commission of Inquiry to establish the facts and responsibilities for this deadly violence, abuses and violations of human rights in the DRC.

Although our nation is buried in a deep political crisis, peaceful solutions exist.

We support a real national dialogue. The political opposition remains open to participating in such a dialogue, inclusive and respectful of conditions laid out by the "Rassemblement", including the release of political prisoners, putting an end to prosecutions against opponents, and the reopening of all private media.

The conclusion of this dialogue should respect the Constitution, the legitimate claims by the people, and resolution 2277 of the UN Security Council.

It is time for President Joseph Kabila to face his responsibilities. Instead of reading light and simplistic statements, he should speak out clearly about his intentions and ensure the people that he will not be seeking another Presidential term.

Transparent Presidential and Legislative elections, that are credible, free, inclusive and respectful of our Constitution should be organized quickly.

No Governmental power can resist the determination and thirst for democracy, which is expressed by the Congolese people.

Katumbi, former governor of Congo's Katanga region, is a presidential candidate

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