Following consultations between the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame, and leaders of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a high-level consultative meeting of Heads of State and Government took place today, 17 January 2019, at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, to exchange views on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the wake of the presidential, national and provincial legislative elections of 30 December 2018 and agree on a way forward.
This initiative is part of the African-led efforts, in the spirit of continental solidarity, to assist the DRC political stakeholders and people to successfully conclude the electoral process and preserve peace and stability in their country.
The meeting was chaired by the Chairperson of the AU, and attended by a number of Heads of State and Government or their representatives from SADC, the ICGLR, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, EAC, the African members of the UN Security Council, the AU troika, as well as by the Chairperson of the AU Commission.
The meeting was briefed on the electoral process in the DRC and subsequent developments by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DRC.
The meeting also received updates from the Chairpersons of the ICGLR, SADC and the AU Commission, and had in-depth exchanges of views thereafter.
The Heads of State and Government attending the meeting concluded that there were serious doubts on the conformity of the provisional results, as proclaimed by the National Independent Electoral Commission, with the votes cast.
Accordingly, the Heads of State and Government called for the suspension of the proclamation of the final results of the elections.
The Heads of State and Government agreed to urgently dispatch to the DRC a high-level delegation comprising the Chairperson of the Union and other Heads of State and Government, as well as the Chairperson of the AU Commission, to interact with all Congolese stakeholders, with the view to reaching a consensus on a way out of the post-electoral crisis in the country. The meeting urged all concerned actors in the DRC to interact positively with the high-level African delegation in the interest of their country and its people.
The Heads of State and Government reiterated the AU's determination to continue to accompany the People of the DRC in this process.
The Heads of State and Government expressed their appreciation to the Chairperson of the Union for having taken the initiative of this consultative meeting. They also thanked the AU Commission and the Ethiopian authorities for the practical steps taken to ensure the successful holding of the meeting.
The Heads of State and Government agreed to remain seized of this matter.