Statement by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 4, 2018–The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, notes with serious concern the incidents that took place in Kinshasa and other locations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 31 December 2017. He deplores the loss of life reported during those incidents and emphasizes the need to shed light on any abuses committed by the police, so that the perpetrators of these acts can be held accountable.

The Chairperson of the Commission urges all Congolese stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from any acts or statements that are likely to further inflame the situation. Recalling the New Year’s Eve Political Agreement, he calls on all stakeholders to work together towards the holding of the elections scheduled for December 2018, within the timetable announced by the National Independent Electoral Commission, and in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution. In particular, he stresses the need to implement confidence-building measures, in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the New Year’s Political Agreement, and respect the fundamental rights and freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution, in order to create a conducive environment for the conduct of free, transparent and fair elections.

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