DRC poll rivals meet for talks: "Kinshasa - President Joseph Kabila and his chief challenger Jean-Pierre Bemba met for the first time on Tuesday in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital to discuss the forthcoming run-off election, said an electoral commission spokesperson.The news comes from News 24, a South African agency, but I have not been able to see confirmation of this in other news sources, or from people in Kinshasa. What is for sure, is that their aides met, and agreed to a joint investigative commission, to probe the causes of the post-electoral violence that erupted in Kinshasa, following the publication of the presidential poll results. What that will bring, I don't know, but at the very least it is a step in the right direction.
The meeting comes in the wake of unrest sparked by the results of the July 30 elections - the first democratic vote in the central African nation in 40 years - which had left at least 23 dead.
The preliminary results released by the election commission last week gave Kabila about 45%, to 20% for Bemba, his closest competitor and former rebel leader.
'They are meeting now to discuss the October 29 elections.
'They will agree to respect the results of that vote,' said Desire Baere, a spokesperson for the independent electoral commission (IEC).
The European Union and the United Nations applauded the relative calm and freedom of the July 30 elections.
However, after the recent violence - between Kabila's presidential guard and forces loyal to Bemba - called for the two leaders to demonstrate a 'sense of responsibility'."
What is more... obscure at this point, is the exact motivations behind these actions. There seems to be no advantage whatsoever, strategic or otherwise, to provoke this turmoil. I am therefore left to ask: Why? Is there a mutual agreement between the two parties, that we are not privy to? They won the first round, and now they are fighting each other: It makes no sense! At least not to the rest of us. So I went around the net, and tried to find a few analyses, that attempt to give a comprehensive look at the situation in DRC. The idea here, is to start a discussion on the matter:
- allAfrica.com: Congo-Kinshasa: DRC Elections - An Insider's Perspective
- Old wounds being aggravated by DRC vote : Mail & Guardian Online
- allAfrica.com: Congo-Kinshasa: Will Congo Explode?
- Eye on Africa » I Worry about Congo and other pieces on Eye on Africa
- The Head Heeb: Seats and ceasefires
In the mean time, two important things must be noted. First of all, a group of 6 TV hannels accused of inciting hatred during these latest turmoils, were suspended[Fr] by the Media High Authority. Good (temporary) ridance if one asks me. Also, and more importantly, the electoral results for the legislative elections have also started to be published. May the best candidates win.