Text Size:
Updated On: Wednesday, 19 June 2019

DR Congo: Electoral process advancing despite threat of armed groups, UN envoy tells Security Council

Content by: News Centre

The situation is most worrying in Beni, where civilians, security forces, and the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) continue to come under near-daily attacks, Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country, told the Security Council via video link from the capital Kinshasa.

“Despite this tempo of attacks,” she said, MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade has “taken an increasingly robust posture in recent months,” she said.

“They undertake proactive long-range patrols to ensure a protective environment, and respond swiftly to alerts, in several recent cases repelling attacks as they are underway, most recently just two days ago.”

The volatile situation has also complicated the response against a deadly Ebola outbreak in the region which began in August, with local populations in some areas showing mistrust towards health workers and in one case attacking a health convoy, added the senior UN official.

“Responders are currently grappling with the issue of simultaneously scaling up response efforts, both in Beni and in other nearby areas, while adapting the footprint to the deteriorating security situation,” she said.

In her briefing, Ms. Zerrougui, who is also head of MONUSCO, highlighted that the electoral process continues to follow the set timetable, with 21 candidates vying for the presidency; 15,505 for the national assembly; and some 19,640 for provincial assemblies.

She regretted that women’s participation has been very low so far, with only 12 per cent women contesting seats in the national and provincial polls, and only one female candidate for President.

Ms. Zerrougui also thanked members of the Security Council, who undertook a recent visit to the country and gave them a unique opportunity to witness first-hand the situation on the ground.

Also briefing the Council alongside Ms. Zerrougui, Said Djinnit, the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, reiterated the importance of peaceful and credible elections in the DRC for stability in the region.

In that context, his efforts focus on mobilizing “concerted regional and international support” to bring the 31 December 2016 accord to fruition – a political agreement facilitated by the Catholic-affiliated Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO), aimed at achieving a peaceful, managed transition of power, consistent with the DRC’s constitution.

“I encourage sustained regional engagement in support of peaceful, credible and inclusive elections in line with the Agreement,” he added.

Trending Now

Regional & Global Development News

Trump, Mexico's Lopez Obrador Tout Migrant Accord

Content by: Voice of America WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are touting an accord to ...

Massive Anti-Graft Protests Rock Haiti; 2 Dead

Content by: Voice of America Jean Hernst Eliscar in Les Cayes, Junior Racine in St. Marc, Charles Makenson in Jeremie and Yvan Martin in Cape ...

Mexican President Says Immigration Deal with US Will Protect Migrant Rights

Content by: Voice of America Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rallied thousands of supporters in the northern border city of Tijuana on ...

UN: Venezuela Exodus Surpasses 4 Million

Content by: Voice of America CARACAS, VENEZUELA — The United Nations says the number of Venezuelans who have left their country in recent years has ...

GET CONNECTED WITH US

Subscribe to our newsletter