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Kofi Annan, former African presidents sound alarm bells over DRC

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The former United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Anna and nine former African Presidents have warned of imminent chaos in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

According to the group of eminent African leaders, the failure of the DRC to organize elections last year has in effect created an ‘acute political crisis’.

‘As African leaders committed to democracy, we are deeply concerned about the political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which represents a threat to the stability, prosperity and peace of the Great Lakes region, and indeed for Africa as a whole. We feel obliged to sound the alarm before it is too late’ Annan and the former Presidents among them Olusegun Obasango of Nigeria; John Mahama and John Kuffour of Ghana, wrote. Others are: former Benin President Thomas Yayi Boni; Thabo Mbeki of South Africa; Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania; Festus Mogae of Botswana; Pedro Pires of Cape Verde and Cassam Uteem of Mauritius.

According to the leaders, implementation of an agreement reached between the Government and the Opposition reached on New Year’s Eve under the aegis of the Conference of Bishops (CENCO) faces increasing difficulties that jeopardise the process intended to lead to peaceful elections this year.

‘Both the spirit and the letter of the agreement are not being respected thereby endangering a non-violent political transition, which we believe  is vital for the future stability and prosperity of the DRC,’ they wrote, before calling for the organization of scheduled elections.

‘The Government of the DRC and the international community must afford the election commission all the resources necessary to organise the elections within the time-frame set by the agreement. We urge the DRC’s political leaders to put the national interest first,’ they added.

‘We call therefore on the President and other Congolese leaders to redouble efforts to fully implement the New Year’s Eve agreement in good faith so as to restore trust between the parties and to ensure free, credible and peaceful elections by the end of the year,’ the former leaders said.

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