Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila has refused to hold elections in his country since 2016, when his constitutional mandate expired. The resulting instability has created an environment ripe for violence, as rebel groups, ethnic militia and government forces clash. In recent years, thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in the mineral-rich nation not far removed from a brutal civil war in the 1990s that left millions dead.
In response to this constitutional chaos and the inhumane – sometimes deadly – actions of the current regime against a populace that has been denied its rights, the United States Senate has introduced a bipartisan resolution that calls for Kabila to stand by his latest promise to hold elections by Dec. 23, 2018.
Tell your Senators: Bringing true democracy and stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo must be a priority. Click below and send them a letter to encourage them to cosponsor Resolution 386.
It’s time for something to be done. Kabila has been in power since 2001, when his father was assassinated. And he has been already been elected president twice – the limit set by the nation’s constitution. His time in office has been plagued by poor governance and corruption, as Kabila and his cronies benefited from selling off major mining concessions.
The legally mandated elections that were supposed to take place two years ago never materialized, and it remains questionable if they will in the near future, despite Kabila’s promises. Street protests by the people of the DRC have been met with arrests and live bullets. All of this has only accentuated the severe challenges already facing the country.
As Stephen O’Brien, former United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said, “Conflict is rapidly spreading across the country and in appalling ways, even in a country blighted by violence and insecurity for decades.”
There’s something you can do. Urge your Senators to support Resolution 386. Tell them that Kabila must be held accountable – and that they can make a difference.
For the full text of the resolution, introduced by Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), click here.
The post Take Action: Support Free Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo appeared first on Jewish World Watch.