DR Congo: UN Mission Pledges Support for President
DR Congo: UN Mission Pledges Support for President Kabila After Election Victory
New York, Nov 28 2006 10:00AM
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has pledged its support for President Joseph Kabila after his confirmation by the Supreme Court as winner of the recent elections aimed at consolidating the vast country’s democratic transition from years of civil war and factional fighting.
The UN mission in the DRC (MONUC) called on both Mr. Kabila and the losing candidate, Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba, to abide by their agreement following the 29 October poll to respect the decision of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
“Aware of the challenges that lie ahead for the new Government, including the economic and social development of the country to the benefit of its people, MONUC pledges its full support to the President, Government and people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as they consolidate the peace and democratic processes, and build a prosperous future,” the mission said in a statement.
It congratulated the Congolese people “on this historic event, by peacefully and decisively voicing their decision for the future of their country” in the DRC’s first multi-party elections in more than 40 years.
The elections, the largest and most complex polls that the UN has ever helped to organize, were aimed at cementing the impoverished country’s transition to stability after a brutal six-year civil war, which cost 4 million lives through fighting and attendant hunger and disease. Factional fighting has remained a problem since the end of the war, especially in the east.
Last week, UN peacekeepers shot into the air to disperse Mr. Bemba’s supporters in Kinshasa, the capital, after demonstrators opened fire and set the Supreme Court and a police vehicle ablaze. The Court has dismissed Mr. Bemba’s challenge to the election results.