Wednesday, September 13, 2006

DRC: Elections: Finally!!!

Friends, I have been moving a bit, so The Salon has been a bit irregular, and will continue to be for another 2 weeks. That said, as I am always following the situation back home, I was pleasantly surprised to read the following story:
Reuters AlertNet - Congo poll rivals meet for first time since clashes: "KINSHASA, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Congo's President Joseph Kabila met his electoral rival Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba on Wednesday for the first time since clashes between their soldiers killed more than 30 people last month. A spokesman for Kabila said he met with three of his four vice-presidents, including Bemba, and they were due to discuss the fighting in Kinshasa which threatened to derail Democratic Republic of Congo's first free elections in more than 40 years.

'They will certainly discuss all of that because there has been an improvement in relations,' presidential spokesman Kudura Kasongo told Reuters.

A Reuters witness saw the two men shake hands before the meeting at the presidential palace.

Kabila won the presidential first round on July 30 with 45 percent of the vote, but fighting erupted on Aug. 20 when electoral authorities announced he would face a second round against second-placed Bemba, who won 20 percent."
Although I do not have the naivete to think that the meeting of these these two - let's face it - warlords will, in it of itself, actually improve the situation. But it is nevertheless a step in the right direction. Let us hope that Xavier Solana's assessment of a "New hope" in the DRC comes true. The Salon is still there for the discussions on the Congo, so definitely use the comment section of this post to bring to our attention other articles and your views. We need all the help we can get.

And for those of you in the US, please do watch this week, the wonderful PBS Wide Angle Report on the elctions in the DRC.

No comments:

Donate to The Salon

Help us continue to do this important work of promoting freedom of expression about the Congo.

Explore The Salon