Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Is the post-electoral crisis over?

This post has been edited since it was first published.

In retrospect, it is alarming how few repercussions there were for the extremely flawed Congolese elections of November 2011. Diplomats condemned the irregularities, sometimes vociferously, but soon inertia and donor discord set in, and they were reluctant to do much more. What could we do? Is the refrain I heard from several embassies in Kinshasa, pointing to the reluctance to use more heavy-handed tactics, such as aid suspension, and to funding a re-run of the costly elections. Eventually, they chose not to contest the elections but to try to use Kabila's perceived weakness to press for changes: the redesign of the electoral commission, the arrest of Bosco Ntaganda, and security sector reform.

By March 2012 donor attention was already beginning drift, and––in the face of repression––civil society and the political opposition had been unable to pressure the government through street protest. But it was perhaps the M23 mutiny in early April that book-ended the post-electoral crisis. On the one hand it signaled Kabila's readiness to carry out one donor demand, the arrest of Ntaganda (although this was only a small factor in the emergence of the M23), on the other it formed a distraction to the electoral crisis. The M23 had intended to strike Kabila when he was weak, and take advantage of the rampant opposition against him internationally and domestically––ironically, they accomplished the opposite, making him appear the victim and deviating donor attention.

Kabila formed a government, convened a raucous parliament in which he held a firm majority, and overcame opposition to hold the Francophonie summit in Kinshasa in October 2012. While he stumbled in two key governor elections–Province Orientale and Bas-Congo––and was forced to reform the electoral commission, the electoral crisis seemed to be behind him. (Read here why the proposed electoral reform, which gives the presidency of the commission to the civil society, does not go far enough).

Over the past several months, however, civil society has come up with several initiatives to revive the debate around elections, as well as other issues––in particular, the assassination of Floribert Chebeya, the de facto house arrest of Etienne Tshisekedi. The three main initiatives are led by AETA (coalition of NGOs working on elections), Les Amis de Nelson Mandela (bringing together human rights groups), and the Forum National. 

This latter initiative is perhaps also the most ambitious one, including the major opposition parties (UDPS, UNC, MLC) are participating in its meetings, as well as several parties from the ruling coalition (AFDC and ECT). Its leaders insist they are not interested in a new power-sharing agreement, but that they want to promote crucial institutional reforms, make sure the next rounds of elections are held, and that the crisis in the East is brought to an end. They have received some encouragement (but are not financed or guided by) from international NGOs such as NDI, Carter Center and ILC. Yesterday, a meeting took place trying to federate or unite these initiatives.

However, the Forum faces stiff challenges. President Kabila, who called for national consultations to promote national cohesion in a December speech is unlikely to want to engage with this body on these broad terms of reference (you can find an outline of the Forum's ambitions here), and will say that the place for discussing these matters is in the constitutionally mandate institutions.

The second challenge will be to forge cohesion among a fractious civil society and opposition. Different participants have different agendas––at a meeting this week, UDPS delegates called President Kabila's entire legitimacy into question, while most other parties have agreed as a matter of pragmatism no longer to call his election into question. There have also been clashes between different opposition groupings––there are now two Forces acquises aux changement (FAC), one led by Lisanga Bonganga, the other by Martin Fayulu.

Below is an interview I did on earlier this week with Nickson Kambale, the moderator of the national preparatory committee of the Forum National, who describes the mandate and ambitions of the group.

Here is the interview:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9m2bu8gpa2xbtp4/Interview%20Nickson%20Kambale%20II.m4a



29 comments:

jay papi said...

These are real issues that the Congolais could debate but they won't because they can't blame Rwanda or anyone else for that matter. Shame

coupon codes said...

After see this blog I really happy and I strongly believe that this post is really helpful and I regularly visit this site. I suggest everyone to visit this site and I also strongly believe that after see the below link you will be surprise
free coupons
coupons
coupon codes

mingming said...

Be certain to make use of a heated pad thats Leather Dog Collar designed for animals instead of humans, as being the latter could get far Dog Collars and leashes too sizzling to get a canine. Heated pet beds function properly at a reduce voltage and are typically crafted for being chew evidence.

billie mughal said...

Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up.
Investment in Property

Patty Panakos said...

An article is very meaningful, I got a lot of knowledge from the inside, here I also share some interesting things, if you would like?
Baltimore Ravens Cheap Jerseys

Abdul Rafay said...

Very significant article for us ,I think the representation of this article is actually superb one. This is my first visit to your site
Maurices Coupon Codes

simmon hisco said...

I really like this kind of exciting content keep it you. Really impressed! Excellent post and amazing weblog. Everything is very start and very obvious description of problems.
Property investments

anthony dior said...

the best articles from u blog,i like it,share for my friends.how do u feel about this?
Cheap T Shirts Wholesale Online

Bossy said...

Will update again once I am in Bangladesh.

Cheap NFL Jerseys
Cheap Jerseys

dior anthony said...

All bloggers should read this blog.All bloggers should read this blog.
Wholesale Jerseys

beokgoc said...

hold my way , don't forget every need
to MAD to GET UP we are on the way
Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys

Fiverr Work said...

Likes tremendously enrich the track record of one's webpage and although using the suited variety rely; several of us are likely to be interested in your account. The corporations supplying these companies, will supply you with non-automated or robotic likes and provide you with authentic Instagram likes. www.buyrealiglikes.com/buy-instagram-likes-no-paypal The great matter regarding this would be the point they're immediately despatched as part of your account which signifies you do not have to wait that an incredible offer. And when you're a company, escalating your Instagram likes will be practical.

sadia sulaman said...

Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up!desktop backgrounds

sadia sulaman said...

Very good work on such topic. When I started to read article I was occupied with the best.snom 760

sadia sulaman said...

Thanks for sharing this great article, After reading the article, I feel that I need more information on the topic. best memory foam mattress

sadia sulaman said...

Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. Accident Claims

sadia sulaman said...

I just thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here.inspiring quotes

Liama Jhons said...

inspiring thoughts. you are consuming a good stuff here.
Training dog for a leash

David K Law said...

I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you are a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back very soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice weekend. Digital DJ Equipment



It was nice to scan your post. I gathered some sensible points here. I’d value more highly to thanks with the efforts you have created in crafting this nice article. Car Repair Rochdale

David K Law said...



Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here Wheelchairs Manchester



This short article provides the light by which we are able to take notice of the reality. this is extremely nice one and provides indepth information. thank you for this nice article Car Repair Rochdale

David K Law said...



This information is really helpful and also have been searching for some good info about this subject. Congrats and waiting for your forthcoming update. Hypno Therapy Cumbria



Very good publish. I simply happened upon your site and wished to state that I've really loved reading through your site posts. In whatever way I’ll be signing up for your feed and I think you'll publish again soon. E cig reviews

David K Law said...



Nice blog! I believe there must be more web page display products and knowledge, this web site is essential, otherwise this small article, I am unable to do my work. I truly understand the author Rug Cleaning Doncaster



You are an excellent blog writer. I had been just looking for something however i cant help myself to learn an entire of your respective blog. Interior Design

David K Law said...



To put it simply your site publish to my personal favorite blog list and can expect for further updates. Simply wished to write lower a thing to be able to say because of you for Individuals Wonderful tips. Outdoor Furniture Hire



Very awesome entry and that i so satisfied that I've discovered this helpful information. I'll certainly bookmark your website and click here again later on. Womens Fashion

David K Law said...



Really nice interesting publish. I had been searching for this type of information and loved reading through that one. Keep posting. Thank you for discussing. Kopalniaswiatla.pl

David K Law said...

To say the truth I am very impressed by what you told. You share tons of interesting info, neat and excellent design you’ve got here. It’s certainly one of the most informative stuff on this topic I’ve ever read. text your ex back no response



This is the superb post. This post provided lots info and these varieties of posts helps to stay users contribution with the positioning and to own regarding expression. by clicking here



Useful information ..I'm able to look at this article..thanks for giving us this useful information. Fantastic walk-through. I fully grasp this post. gfas program

David K Law said...


You really allow it to be appear very easy together with your performance however i find this affair to become really a thing that I believe I'd never comprehend. It appears too complex and very broad for me personally. text your ex back michael fiore book

Jason Cline said...

This post is very simple to read and appreciate without leaving any details out. Great work! You completed certain reliable points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all persons will agree with your blog Scrap Cars Manchester

Jason Cline said...

You place the all wonderful landmarks which are all people getting interested. but yes that is certainly right, i agree. everything you could mention is create a sense. Consulting South Woodford

Jason Cline said...

I am likely to look at this. I'm going to be certain to return. thank you for discussing. this also article provides the light by which we are able to take notice of the reality. this is extremely nice one and provides indepth information. thank you for this nice article. transvaginal surgical mesh

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.