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Congolese church leader speaks on DRC electoral process at UN event

Congolese church leader speaks on DRC electoral process at UN event

Rev. Kakule Molo at the side-event organized at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council, in Geneva. © WCC/Semegnish A. Grosjean

17 September 2015

Rev. Kakule Molo, president of the Baptist Community in Central Africa, reflected on the rule of law and the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during a side-event at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council on 16 September in Geneva, Switzerland.

The side event was organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in collaboration with Franciscans International, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), among other organizations.

Molo, who represented the WCC at the event, pointed out how the irregularities in 2011 elections in DRC were noted by national and international observers.

Insufficient financial resources and a lack of political will was identified by Molo as obstacles to an effective and transparent electoral process in the DRC. “It appears that the international community is not ready to finance the entire electoral process, but rather focuses on the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for late 2016,” he said.

Molo went on to say that the recent establishment of new provinces causes concern to the political opposition and civil society organizations in the DRC. He said this step may provide an opportunity for the government to lead the country towards a shift of elections, which could delay the electoral process.

Molo stressed that women and youth, who constitute more than 60% of the population, will be most affected if the electoral process is flawed and does not allow comprehensive participation.

“In addition to the efforts of Congolese people to restore the rule of law in the country, the solidarity of the international community is still highly desirable. These combined efforts can help prevent additional suffering for the Congolese people, who already have suffered too much during the past two decades,” concluded Molo.

The event in Geneva also featured discussions on systematic human rights violations in the DRC that continue to be committed with impunity, including injustices against civilians during armed conflict. The speakers reflected on the root causes exacerbating human rights violations such as the illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources and the uncontrolled flows of weapons and the impact on sexual violence. Among other speakers at the event were Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, Annie Matundu Mbambi and Paul Nsapu Mukulu .

“Our endeavour as an ecumenical family is to accompany member churches and ecumenical partners in the DRC to achieve their aspirations for responsible and peaceful elections in the country,” noted Semegnish A. Grosjean, WCC programme executive for international affairs.

WCC conference invites churches and partners to renew initiatives for just peace in the DRC (WCC news release of 1 June 2015)

Churches seek to strengthen electoral process in Democratic Republic of Congo (WCC news release of 11 December 2014)

WCC programme for human rights