FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LUCHA/ Communication Unit Save The Congo!
Joint Statement of Congolese Civil Society Groups on the
High–Level Humanitarian Conference on the Democratic Republic of Congo,
taking place tomorrow Friday 13 in Geneva
Kinshasa, London, 12 April 2018 – We, the undersigned Congolese civil society groups, applaud The Netherlands, Sweden, the European Commission and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) for co–hosting the High–Level Humanitarian Conference on Democratic Republic of Congo.
We especially welcome your decision to maintain the conference in spite of Kabila government’s campaign of blackmails and smears –– another evidence of the extent to which the illegitimate, inhumane and brutal Kabila regime despises our people. Even the breath‑taking numbers of Congolese children dying of hunger and severe malnutrition mean nothing to him and his puppets so long as they are in power to loot Congo’s natural resources! By its attitude, the Kabila “government” has demonstrated, for those who still doubted it, that it does not represent the Congolese people.
We also applaud all governments as well as UN Agencies, international organizations and non-governmental organizations attending this crucial conference in support of 13.1 million of our people, including 4.9 internally displaced people, in urgent need of sustained life–saving food, water, shelter and health care not just to get by but to survive. We encourage those who have yet pledge their fair share to do so: millions of Congolese lives depend on it.
This humanitarian crisis is not a result of an unpredictable natural disaster; it is a man–made tragedy. It has been marked by violence, often state-sponsored, harsh political repression, and flagrant and repeated violations of our people’s most basic rights our constitution and the Saint-Sylvester Political Agreement the Catholic Church secured on New Year’s Eve 2016. Kabila, whose second and last constitutional mandate ended on 19 December 2016 but has continued to refuse to cede power peacefully, organize free and fair elections, is most responsible for it. His regime has sowed chaos and nurtured crisis across the country so they could use it as justifications to postpone elections. We want to see Kabila and his henchmen held accountable for lives and communities they have destroyed.
Aid alone will not address this crisis. We believe that only free, fair and transparent elections can guarantee political stability and end the endless security and humanitarian chaos. We urge you to use all influence at your disposal to exert concerted pressure on the Kabila regime to either comply with soft benchmarks and deadline set by Comité Laïc de Coordination or cede power peacefully so that we, the people of the Congo, can organize elections that will be free, fair and transparent and to produce a government that depends on our people’s support ––a prerequisite for good governance and sustainable peace in the DRC and the wider region.
Additional information for editors:
The international conference on the DRC, which is being held this April 13 in Geneva, aims, among other things, at raising contributions to fund the emergency humanitarian aid needs for the DRC, which this year near to $ 1.7 billion. More than 13 millions of people in the DRC are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance, including 4, 9 IDPs and 2 million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (as much as for Syria, Yemen and Iraq combined!). The L3 level – the highest in the United Nations system – was activated in October 2017 for the DRC, for a period of six months ending on April 20, 2018. Last year OCHA had only managed to mobilize less 60% of funding for humanitarian needs in the DRC. Today, the challenge is even bigger. The Kabila so-called government, which denies the seriousness of the crisis, not only boycotted the conference but also campaigned to discourage States from participating and contributing.
In Goma, the DRCongo
Mr. Juvin Kombi (French and Swahili):
Tel. /WhatsApp: +243 974 233 390
Page Facebook: www.facebook.com/lucha.rdcongo
Twitter: luchaRDC / Skype: lucha.rdc
In London, UK
Mr. Vava Tampa (English, Lingala and French):
Tel. /WhatsApp: +44 7930 712 466
Page Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/TheStCProject/
Twitter/Instagram: @SavetheCongo; @VavaTampa
LUCHA (Fight for Change, in English) is the main and oldest citizen movement of the Democratic Republic of Congo (established in 2012). Consisting mainly of young people from all walks of life and from all regions of the DRC and the diaspora, LUCHA uses the non-violence methods and means to educate and mobilize Congolese citizens in order to hold their authorities accountable, to denounce all forms of injustice, and to count on themselves in the effort to build a united, peaceful, free, just and prosperous Congo, as dreamed up by the Congo’s independence hero, Emery-Patrice Lumumba. LUCHA defines itself as a Spirit of renewal, with horizontal leadership. It does not fight the Kabila’s regime as such, but the system of predation and alienation of which this regime is only a reflection. The movement is non-partisan and independent vis-à-vis any political party, individuals, groups, governments, NGOs, religion or economic interest. Its activities are financed by individual and unconditional contributions.
ABOUT SAVE THE CONGO !
Save the Congo! is a Congolese-led campaign group working to help end the wars engulfing Congo and to bring about a Congo — and indeed a Great Lakes Region — at peace with itself. Founded in 2008, Save the Congo! works on four issues we call the 4is: Impunity, Insecurity, Illicit trade of minerals and Institutional failure – and we work with five constituencies, namely: student groups, parliamentarians, religious leaders and NGOs working in and on the Congo and the Congolese people in and outside of Congo; and we do 3 things: campaigning to spread awareness, lobbying for policy changes and organizing for liberation from Mr Kabila’s kleptocratic regime. We receive no funding from any government and have never applied for any funding.