Namibia: Geingob Calls for Help of DRC

18 January 2019

Windhoek — Sadc chairperson Dr Hage Geingob yesterday said the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is at crossroads after its contentious December 30 presidential election.

Geingob, who is President of Namibia, called on the southern African region to help the people of DRC resolve their situation amicably.

Sadc leaders, led by Geingob as chairperson, yesterday met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to deliberate among others the outcome of the DRC election.

One of the opposition candidates, Felix Tshisekedi, who received more than seven million votes -or 38 percent - was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) on 10 January.

But the runner-up Martin Fayulu claims he in fact won by a landslide and alleged that Tshisekedi struck a deal with outgoing president Joseph Kabila to be declared victor. Tshisekedi and Kabila deny this.

Sadc this week said the DRC should recount the votes of its contested presidential election that Fayulu insists was rigged.

The election was supposed to mark Congo's first uncontested democratic transfer of power in 59 years of restive independence and the beginning of a new era following 18 years of rule by President Kabila.

"The announcement on 10 January 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) has raised hope, especially among the people of the DRC," Geingob told fellow Sadc leaders.

Like in any election, there are fears among some quarters of the Congolese people that they might be left out hence the challenge in the Constitutional Court of the DRC, said Geingob.

"Our task is therefore to assist our brothers and sisters in the DRC to manage and reconcile those fears and aspirations. All of us have been inundated with expressions of interests by other global players. The people of the DRC are waiting and the world is watching," he stated.

Geingob called for the Sadc double troika summit to address the situation in the DRC. In deliberating on the issue, Geingob urged Sadc leaders to consider the Congolese people count on the Sadc to assist in ensuring an atmosphere that will put an end to the conflict and instability in the resource-rich African country.

The Congolese people are also counting on Sadc to place that country on "the path of peace and sustainable development," Geingob said.

"Therefore their security, socio-economic aspirations should remain paramount. The fact that the DRC has held relatively peaceful elections is in itself a success and we commend President Joseph Kabila for having kept his word and creating a conducive atmosphere for the holding of elections in the DRC," further stated Geingob.

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