FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 16, 2011
CONTACT: Ian Koski at 202-224-4216
Senators Coons, Isakson react to Congolese Supreme Court decision, call for transparent review of election results
Statement from chairman, ranking member of Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs
WASHINGTON – A day after holding a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs on governance in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Senators Coons (D-Del.) and Isakson (R-Ga.) expressed deep concern about today’s ruling of the Congolese Supreme Court, which declared President Kabila the winner of recent elections without a transparent review of the election results.
“We are deeply troubled by today’s ruling by the Congolese Supreme Court, which confirmed the results of the Congolese election commission despite widespread reports of irregularities. This was clearly not a well-run election, as reported by observers from the European Union, Carter Center, and Congolese Catholic Church. Congolese authorities must engage in a thorough and transparent review of the results that will shed light on whether irregularities were caused by a lack of organization or fraud, and the United States stands ready to provide technical assistance for such a review.
"We are increasingly concerned that the election irregularities are a setback for already weak systems of governance in Congo, and may further destabilize the DRC and lead to an escalation of violence. All sides should engage in dialogue about next steps and consider establishing a formal mediation process with the support of the international community. Wecall on President Kabila to direct his security forces to protect the Congolese people, and work with Mr. Tshisekedi to resolve their disagreements in a way that will restore credibility to the process. The U.S. stands with the Congolese people in their attempt to advance democracy and hope it can be achieved peacefully.”