MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
8.3.2016 - (2016/2609(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure
Ignazio Corrao, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Piernicola Pedicini, Isabella Adinolfi, Laura Agea, Laura Ferrara, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0342/2016
European Parliament resolution on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
The European Parliament,
– having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 9 July 2015 on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in particular the case of the two detained human rights activists Yves Makwambala and Fred Bauma
– having regard to the Declaration of EEAS of last 16 February according to whom the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and the International Organisation of la Francophonie underscore the necessity of an inclusive political dialogue in the DRC and their commitment to support the Congolese actors towards the consolidation of democracy in the country;
– having regard to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement signed in June 2000,
– having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
– having regard to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2016 on the Democratic Republic of the Congo
– having regard to the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular Articles 22, 23, 24 and 25 thereof,
– having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,
A) Whereas Under RDC constitution, President Kabila is due to step down in December 2016, at the end of his second term whereas preparations for the November 2016 elections have yet to begin and whereas President Kabila and members of his majority coalition have indicated that the elections might be delayed, citing the flawed voter list and the high cost of elections.
B) Where the Civil Society has organized a national strike (ville morte) on 16 of February to denounce delays and possible frauds of the next presidential elections;
C) Whereas RDC authorities have arbitrarily arrested on 16 February 2016 several youth activists and at least 30 political opposition supporters in connection with the national strike, so called “ville morte”.
D) Whereas these youth activists Rebecca Kavugho, Serge Sivya, Justin Kambale, John Anipenda, Ghislain Muhiwa, and Melka Kamundu, are all members of the Struggle for Change (La Lutte pour le Changement, LUCHA) citizens’ movement; whereas they were questioned without legal assistance and whereas some of them had been wounded during the arrest.
E) Whereas in last months, security and intelligence officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have increasingly made use of violent acts of repression on youth and political activists who have been opposing political maneuvers to allow President Joseph Kabila to stay in power beyond his constitutionally mandated two-term limit, due to end in December 2016.
F) Whereas Government officials have blocked free speech by shutting down media outlets, specifically targeting ones that aired messages about the protests, Canal Kin Television (CKTV) and Radio Television Catholique Elykia (RTCE) and also shutting down text messaging services and the Internet in an attempt to stop protest leaders from communicating with each other and to block the opposition movement from building momentum. Whereas Republican Guard soldiers entered Kinshasa’s General Hospital on January 21 and fired indiscriminately, wounding at least three visitors guilty of visiting wounded protesters;
G) Whereas Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala, two activists arrested for participating in a workshop to encourage Congolese youth to peacefully and responsibly perform their civic duties, are still in prison after 11 months from their arbitrary arrest, despite the European Parliament requests of July 2015;
H) Whereas it is clear that these activists are detained solely for exercising, peacefully, their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, accused of organising workshops on youth mobilisation and a concert, which never took place, to launch the movement.
1. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of activists and other political prisoners;
2. Urges the RDC authorities to refrain from submitting prisoners to torture or other ill-treatment and allowed them to maintain regular contact with their families and their lawyers;
3. Calls on the RDC authorities to stop any further attack on rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly
4. Reminds that Congolese judicial authorities should assert their independence and ensure the protection of rights recognized by the RDC Constitution, as well as by the international human rights treaties ratified by RDC.
5. Asks the political RDC authorities to stop using justice for political purposes, arbitrary arrests and detentions by the intelligence services, the disproportionate use of force by the forces of order, physical threats against politicians and journalists, interruption of certain television signals, interference RFI, the indiscriminate blocking for extended periods of access to mobile internet and SMS.
6. Calls for the respect of the principles defined by the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and invite all the relevant stakeholders to maintain a peaceful political climate allowing a calm debate, to ensure an open political space and guarantee the manifestation and information freedom and the independence and impartiality of the justice.
7. Invites all the political parties to agree on a clear schedule for the presidential elections with a sound timeline, can rely on a fair budget so that the electoral process is fair and violence free.
8. Calls on the EEAS to make use of the Agreement of Cotonou and in particular to launch the political dialogue procedure under art. 8 of the Agreement;
9. Calls on the EU to consider the possibility to targeted those officials and politicians responsible for the violence, with sanctions including travel bans and freezing of assets.
10. Stresss that Congolese people have the right to peacefully demonstrate and calls on the international community, including the EU, to work to ensure that demonstrators are protected;
11. Supports strongly the mediatory role played by the United Nations and the African Union;
12. instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government of RDC, the Governments of G8 countries, the African Union and the African Union Commission, the African National Development Bank, the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly