The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa heard testimony on Eastern Congo, and the problems facing it since the war ended in 2003. Panel One Donald Y. Yamamoto, principal deputy assistant secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs Rajakumari Jandhyala, deputy assistant administrator, Bureau for Africa, U.S. Agency for International Development Panel Two Ben Affleck, actor, writer, director, and advocate Francisca Vigaud-Walsh, sexual and gender-based violence adviser, Catholic Relief Services John Prendergast, co-founder, The Enough Project, Cindy McCain, Eastern Congo Initiative, Investor.
PRESS RELEASE:March 8, 2011
WITHOUT LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT CONGO’S PROBLEMS CANNOT BE SOLVED
The movement to end dictatorship in Congo with historic opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi call on President Obama and Congress to act now to support free, fair and transparent elections in Congo(DRC).
Speaking from Kinshasa on March 8, 2011 Dr. Etienne Tshisekedi calls on the Congress of the United States and United States President Barack Obama to:
“Bring pressure to bear on Joseph Kabila to allow free, fair and transparent elections to take place this year in Congo, to reject the manipulation and trickery of past electoral exercises, and to respect the truth of the outcome.”
President Obama’s own legislation on Congo from his days as a senator has not been implemented with regard to preparation for free and fair elections in Congo. According to Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports, the conditions that would prevent sanctions against MONUSCO and the government of Congo have not been met with regard to election preparation in Congo.
The Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) is the largest and most popular political party in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The UDPS has earned this distinction through the unstinting sacrifice of its members in every corner of the country and every part of the globe since it was founded in 1982. After 32 years under the heel of one of the most brutal dictatorships in world history, that of Joseph Desire Mobutu, it was the UDPS which won in 1990, after significant loss of life and relentless struggle, the right for a second political party to exist in Congo.
Following in the venerable tradition of Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, the UDPS has remained faithful from the beginning to principles of nonviolent social change. The dictatorships of Mobutu and Laurent Kabila have come and gone but UDPS remains strong and continues to make significant contributions to Congo’s social and political development. The Sovereign National Conference, the election of a Dr. Etienne Tshisekedi as Prime Minister in August 1992, the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, the Alliance to Safeguard the Dialogue and the historic First Congress of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, all owe their existence to the determination, persistence and sacrifice of the members of this the most beloved of Congo’s political parties.
With this appeal the Congo Educational Council Association (CECA) joins with the UDPS to advance the decision of the historic First Congress of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress to move the country towards free, fair and transparent elections.
For the Union for Democracy and Social Progress in the USA:
Kanku Kalala, Representative in the USA (301) 919-6172
For the Congo Educational Council Association (CECA):
Tshimanga John Metzel, Manager (703) 989-0745