The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Kacou Houadja Léon Adom (Côte d’Ivoire):
The members of the Security Council expressed their conviction that the elections of 23 December 2018, as an expression of the sovereignty of the people and Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, constitute a historic opportunity for the first democratic and peaceful transfer of power in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the consolidation of stability in the country and the creation of the conditions for its development.
While welcoming the progress in the technical preparations of the elections, the members of the Security Council expressed concern that, just days before the election, the electoral campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo has witnessed several incidents, some of which resulted in loss of life and significant damage. They called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to investigate swiftly these incidents. The members of the Security Council reiterated their call on all parties — Government and opposition — to engage peacefully and constructively in the electoral process, in order to ensure transparent, peaceful and credible elections and to preserve peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region. They further recalled the importance of ensuring the safety and security of candidates and voters during the campaign period.
The members of the Security Council urged all parties to continue to reject violence of any kind, exercise maximum restraint in their actions and statements by refraining from provocations such as violence and violent speeches and to address their differences peacefully. They urged all Congolese stakeholders to create all necessary conditions to ensure a violence-free environment conducive to the peaceful conduct of political activities, to ensure that the elections take place with the requisite conditions of transparency and credibility, including the full and effective participation of women at all stages, and are conducted in accordance with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s international obligations. It is essential that all Congolese actors participate peacefully and constructively in the electoral process, with full respect for the 31 December 2016 Agreement confidence-building measures. The members of the Security Council called on all political players to uphold the freedom of expression, assembly and unhindered campaigning which are the hallmarks of the democratic exercise of the will of the people during this period.
The members of the Security Council underlined the importance of the entire Congolese political class and the institutions responsible for organizing elections remaining committed to ensuring the success of the electoral process, leading to a peaceful transfer of power, in accordance with the Congolese Constitution and the 31 December 2016 Agreement.