Friday January 24, 2020 marked the first year anniversary of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi taking office by highlighting a number of ongoing human rights concerns under his rule.
Tshisekedi was named as the DRCs new leader last year in the country’s first peaceful transition of power but rights group Amnesty wants to remind the world of widespread insecurity and impunity that “continue to threaten human rights progress” in the country.
While reflecting on his year as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tshisekedi told BBC Africa: “We had to find ways and means to get out of this isolation and I think we’ve succeeded.”
The year 1 of the alternation in the DRC ended in a total mess, said Thursday, January 23, the spokesman of the coordinator of Lamuka, Steve Kivwata. According to him, this situation starts from “the cacophony at the top of the State to the difficult social life of the population”.
This opposition platform speaks of “almost the end of the deal” between the FCC and the CACH.
Speaking during Radio Okapi’s Dialogue entre Congolais program, Steve Kivwata maintains that Félix Tshisekedi’s first year in power in the DRC ended in a mess:
“Politically, there was the cacophony at the top of the state. There is the FCC whose ministers have already signed their resignation letters. On the economic level, there are expenses which were made outside the chain of expenses ”.
Added to this, according to him, cases of corruption that have not been sanctioned by justice, the depreciation of the Congolese Franc against the US dollar causing the price explosion on the market.
The Lamuka platform also considers the hypothesis of the dissolution of the National Assembly – put forward by Félix Tshisekedi – and the reply to the President’s dismissal – made by Jeanine Mabunda – as a sign of the end of the FCC-CACH coalition in power.
Continued human rights issues in the DRC
Amnesty points to recent instances where peaceful protests have been banned or violently dispersed in the DRC. It cites an incident on 17 January where meetings called by opposition leader Martin Fayulu were banned in six cities, and violently dispersed in Kinshasa and Kindu, injuring five people.
It also mentions a separate incident in November 2019 where at least 10 protesters were shot dead by Congolese and UN security officers in Beni.
The rights group then goes on to explain how offenders continue to enjoy impunity in the country, condemning a statement made by President Tshisekedi in September 2019 that he had “no time to rummage into the past”.
“Although President Tshisekedi has taken some positive steps, such as pardoning political prisoners and allowing exiled critics to return, his government’s failures on accountability mean warlords and suspected perpetrators of appalling violations and abuses remain at large,” Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern and Southern Africa said.
“Meanwhile brutal crackdown on peaceful protests has continued to cast doubt on respect for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the DRC.”