DRC: Bitter failure of national consultations; the president’s chair is spared

Echec cuisant des concertations nationales - la chaise du président est épargnée - Chantal Faida

Conscious and convinced of his failure to put an end to the untold suffering of the Congolese population, President Kabila had taken the option of bringing together the living forces of the nation, from September 07 to October 05, 2013, in the capital to clear the ways and means likely to restore the authority of the State over the whole of the national territory by instilling a new dynamism within the executive. Knowing how to leave things before the time, a greatness of soul (that I was naive).

In view of the balance sheet attached to this work, I am greatly disappointed to note that he (the raïs) comes out of it invigorated, comforted because instead of handing over the resumption with new faces, he rather welcomes the resolutions taken which he excuses his policy of trial and error, which he ingeniously exploited for eleven years, to the great displeasure of the population affected by deadly conflicts. This is how he found no other words than to say: “Rest assured that I heard you and that I understood you” in front of the audience of concertgoers, on the day of the closing.

The Congo, my country once again misses the train of its history

Going through the thirty or so recommendations – well refined by the way – I note that we have limited ourselves to pinpointing the obvious problems without castigating the sclerosing attitude of state officials.

In terms of democratic governance, the 700 delegates proposed the adoption of a code of ethics with a view to the pursuit of the common good, the promotion of integrity and the renunciation of the seizure of power by arms in the behavior of all managers. From the outset, it appears through the veil that the former competent authorities have violated these rules and that it will be necessary – if we really want to change things – a reorganization, an urgent recomposition or a selection of new heads to match these tasks. Something that was not done for three weeks.

While similar meetings have been organized in the past (the Goma conference on peace, security and development in 2008, the Sun City dialogue in 2002, the Lusaka agreements in 2009, and I forget others) results: beautiful texts, well-crafted laws, oratorical verve, but no political will to do so.

Another surprising example, with a view to strengthening the rule of law and pacifying the provinces in conflict; the delegates recommended the identification of foreigners within the army, police and security services and the eradication of national and foreign armed groups without mentioning the people who instigated these situations, who nevertheless continue to hold positions decision-making in the country without being harassed. Through my glasses as an informed observer, I felt a clear desire to silence the root causes of the suffering of the population in order to tackle the visible consequences. Is it out of fear or out of ignorance? We do not cure a pathology by sparing the patient, otherwise, despite your indulgence, he will succumb.

There is obviously no alternative, and in turn the taxpayers’ money has been spent for nothing, because all the recommendations lack the pragmatism underlying their implementation. The citizens will only have their eyes to cry once again. The panacea to multifaceted Congolese crises is the overhaul of institutions.

Chantal Faida


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