Thank you, Special Representative Zerrougui, Foreign Minister Malanji, Ambassador Fatima Mohammed, CENI President Naanga and CENCO Secretary General Nshole, for your informative briefings today. Special Representative Zerrougui, thank you for MONUSCO’s continued efforts to support the DRC electoral process, protect civilians, and secure areas for health workers who are responding to the Ebola outbreak. We especially recognize MONUSCO’s work during the past week and throughout the electoral process. We know, Special Representative Zerrougui, that you and your team have repeatedly offered support to the DRC government, and have stood at the ready in case that call for support ever came. We appreciate the mission’s efforts.
Mr. President, we want to acknowledge the millions of Congolese throughout the DRC who exercised their right to vote last week after two years of delay. Despite confusion, technical issues, weather, and long lines, the citizens of the DRC showed the world that they have a voice. The United States stands with the people of Congo at this historic moment and it is they who should determine their country’s future.
We take note of the provisional results of the elections, and await clarification of questions that have been raised regarding the electoral count. We look forward to hearing more from CENI and CENCO about the data underlying their vote tallies. We will continue to urge all parties to use the systems and procedures in place to reach a final outcome, and refrain from all violence. We remain prepared to hold accountable individuals who threaten the peace, stability, or security of the DRC, or undermine the DRC’s democratic process.
Mr. President, in the post-electoral phase, we must not forget that the East is still confronting both increased armed group activity and the second largest Ebola outbreak in history. While the DRC government cancelled presidential elections in Yumbi, Beni, and Butembo, we expect that citizens will be able to vote for their provincial and legislative representatives by March, as announced by the CENI.