President Jacob Zuma and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila reportedly discussed issued of political crisis in DRC following Kabila’s refusal to step down as the President despite the constitution dictates after finishing two terms.
Kabila who was in the country for the tenth session of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) between South Africa and DRC saw his visit marked by controversy with a group of angry protesters calling him an illegitimate President and accuses him of delaying polls.
The two Presidents expressed satisfaction with the successful conclusion of the political dialogue initiated by President Kabila which resulted in the appointment of Bruno Tshibala as Prime Minister, the establishment of a Government of National Unity, saying this would strengthen democracy and pave the way for the holding of elections in the DRC.
The two sides called on the electoral bodies to work together to enhance the quality and credibility of this year’s elections.
According to the talks between the two Presidents, Polls in DRC were not held last year because of budgetary constraints.
This sparked violent protests where civilians were killed by police as they tried to maintain order.
Critics have voiced concern over the delay of election, saying President Kabila who came to power after the 2001 assassination of his father, deliberately delayed elections in order to remain in power.
DRC’s conference of Catholic bishops (CENCO) helped to negotiate a December 31
South Africa and DRC expressed their commitment to African unity and integration within the framework of the Constitutive Act of the African Union and to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, as well as African renewal, specifically through the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
“The two Heads of State reflected on the need to peace, security and stability in the region and the continent to end the suffering of the local populations.
“To this end they agreed that it was imperative for Africa to draw on its own resources and capabilities to achieve its objective of a prosperous Africa at peace with itself. In this regard, they expressed concern with the interference of some actors outside of Africa in domestic affairs, which threatens to undermine the sovereignty of African countries.”
The two countries reiterated their common view on the need for the reform of multilateral institutions particularly the Bretton Woods Institutions and the Security Council to include the interests of the developing countries.
In addition, to this they expressed concern about the recent withdrawal by the United States of America from the Paris Agreement on climate change.