Congolese opposition calls Kabila a dictator
By Hassan Isilow
CAPETOWN – Members of a Congolese political party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), have submitted a memorandum to the South African parliament, requesting for intervention in the Congolese crisis. The memorandum, which has been forwarded to Africa Witness, gives the South African lawmakers a true perspective of the situation prevailing in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the 2011 pre-electoral period.
Authors of the memorandum want the South African government to intervene in the Congolese crisis by ensuring that the country’s
natural resources are responsibly managed in a manner that will develop and benefit all, rather than keeping this wealth in the hands of
a few individuals.
“Being the successful model of the process of democratic change in Africa and the first economic powerhouse of the continent, South
Africa, should help to ensure that the Congolese natural resources are managed responsibly, instead of the wealth going to a handful of
individuals operating in the shadows for the benefit of international mafia and their families alone,” the memorandum stated.
The group seeks the help of the SA government as a “positive influence” on the United Nations Security Council in order to push for a redefinition and extension of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Monusco) mandate. The mandate is only deployed until June, but the group wants it to be extended to be integrated in the electoral process later this year to ensure that the process is transparent and provides protection to all presidential and parliamentarian candidates.
They also requested that South Africa mounts political pressure on the Congolese government, so as to meet its commitments on organising the 2011 elections within the constitutional time frame. The UDPS wants SA to demand that the Kinshasa regime stops abusing state instruments for personal purposes, including non-compliance in fundamental human rights.
Human rights abuses
The memo criticises the leadership of President Joseph Kabila for reportedly violating human rights of the Congolese people. “The accession of Joseph Kabila to the post of Head of State, gave birth to an autocratic, dictatorial and murderous regime worse than the toppled regime of Mobutu, with the characteristics of massive, deliberate and systematic violation of Human Rights, of the Constitution and laws of the Republic,” it states.
The group also accuses Kabila of reportedly establishing a despotic elite based on regional and ethno-tribal origins hardly conducive to
the national cohesion. They claim the president has been instigating arrests and extrajudicial detentions of politicians belonging to the
opposition. They also accuse him of allegedly being behind the murders of independent journalists and human rights activists.
“We request and demand that Kinshasa stop its arbitrary detentions and arrests, tortures and political assassinations, and get involved
in the defence and protection of the human persons in general,” the memorandum concluded.