Q - The electoral commission in DRC announced yesterday that the election would not take place before the beginning of 2019. What’s your response?
Do you support, as the NGOs are demanding, tougher sanctions against those close to Mr. Kabila?
A - As far as we know, there has been no official communication from the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) regarding the electoral calendar. As we have repeatedly indicated, we call for the urgent and full implementation of the political agreement of December 31, 2016, so that credible and inclusive elections can be held as swiftly as possible. We notably call for the urgent publication of a credible electoral calendar, as well as the implementation of measures to improve the political situation in accordance with the provisions of the December 31 agreement. DRC’s international partners reaffirmed their expectations in this respect on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 19 and agreed to appoint a joint team of international experts in order to facilitate support for the electoral process.
With respect to the sanctions, as the EU indicated on May 29, 2017, following the adoption of sanctions against nine new Congolese leaders by the Council of the European Union, it will closely monitor political and human rights developments in this country and, accordingly, may envisage further restrictive measures or, conversely, remove some of them.