The President of the Republic declares a state of siege for the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri

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Kinshasa, May 3rd, 2021 (CPA).– The President of the Republic, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, announced his decision to establish the state of siege regime for the provinces of Nord Kivu and Ituri, in order to restore peace and security in this part of the country, in his communication to the first meeting of the Council of Ministers of Sama Lukonde government, which he chaired, on Friday, in the city of the African Union (AU).

The government spokesman, the Minister in charge of Communication and Media, Patrick Muyaya Katembwe, who indicated in his report at the end of the meeting, specified that a presidential order sanctioning this decision will be made public in the next few hours.

He also indicated that the Head of State recalled the Government’s priorities which relate to 3 axes of its vision to build a strong, prosperous and united State in order to « restore peace, stability and security in Eastern DRC, to improve governance in the management of natural resources, in a spirit of national solidarity. »

Below is the full text of the report:

His Excellency, Mr. President of the Republic, Head of State, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, chaired, exceptionally in person, Friday April 30th, 2021, the first meeting of the Council of Ministers following the appointment and investiture of the government of the Republic headed by His Excellency, Mr. Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge, Prime Minister.

Three items were on the agenda, namely:

M. Communication from the President of the Republic, Head of State;

M. Presentation of members of the Government to the President of the Republic, Head of State by the Prime Minister, Head of Government;

M. Examination and adoption of six ratification bills presented by the Minister in charge of Finance.

At the request of the President of the Republic a fourth point has been added to this agenda. It is about the state of siege.

Communication from the President of the Republic

I.1. Announcement of the state of siege:

In view of the gravity of the situation, the President of the Republic, Head of State, informed the Council of Ministers of his decision to proclaim, in accordance with article 85 of the Constitution, a state of siege in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. And this, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the presidents of the two chambers of Parliament, after hearing the Superior Council of Defense.

A presidential order sanctioning this decision will be made public in the coming hours. The goal is to quickly end the insecurity that decimates our compatriots in this part of the country on a daily basis.

The Council of Ministers took note of this.

I.2. Exhortation of the Head of State:

The President of the Republic congratulated each member of the Government whose appointment was not a coincidence but rather a fact of fate. This, in view of the various criteria which were taken into account in the appointment of members of the Government.

In his exhortation to the members of the Government, the President of the Republic declared: “Your life is destined to fulfill the mission for which you have been appointed. We must now see ourselves as members of one and the same family: the Congo. In the government, there will no longer be any question of political families, groupings or moral authorities. Here it will always be the Congo. We have a duty to succeed where the Congolese expect us. Do not forget it! » (End of quote).

1.3. Building a Strong, Prosperous and Solidarity State:

The President of the Republic recalled the Government’s priorities which relate to the three axes of its vision for the construction of a strong, prosperous and united State. The implementation of this vision, which is part of the Government’s program, calls for the achievement of the following objectives:

For the strong state, it is:

– To bring peace, stability and security to the eastern part of the country where state authority has been violated. To revitalize Congolese diplomacy and improve the image of DRC internationally. Also, a strong state cannot be built without strong justice, without an effective fight against corruption, impunity and anti-values. The government also has a duty to protect and promote respect for human rights.

For a prosperous state:

– Clean up governance in the management of natural resources, portfolio companies and public finances, improve the business climate, promote entrepreneurship and the middle class; and finally, to diversify the economy in order to create the conditions for inclusive growth. The modernization of basic infrastructure, the development of New Information and Communication Technologies as well as the fight against climate change and the resulting dividends are also part of the priorities.

For a united State, it will be a question of:

– To make real solidarity between different layers of the population. This includes improving living conditions by ensuring access to education, health care, decent housing as well as water and electricity.

Poverty is, in many ways, a cause of hatred and sometimes an unpatriotic feeling. It is a scourge to be combated and eradicated by involving women and young people. Culture, sports, the arts and recreation should be promoted because they constitute the support and outreach sectors.

The President of the Republic also recalled, for the attention of the members of the Government, the duty to meet, each in his sector, the challenges of the reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Congo with regard to the expectations of the Congolese people. He announced that an assessment of everyone’s action would take place in six (6) months.

  1. To the presentation of members of the government to the President of the Republic

In his introductory words, the Prime Minister thanked the President of the Republic for his appointment at the head of the Government and for the confidence placed in him. He then asked each member of his team, in order of precedence, to introduce themselves to the President of the Republic.

Speaking again after this exercise, the Prime Minister recalled the obligation for ministers to work with dedication and a high sense of patriotism.

III. Examination and adoption of texts (06):

Six draft ratification laws to be submitted urgently to Parliament have been approved by the Council of Ministers. These are respectively:

1.1. Nord Kivu agricultural sector support project (PASA-NK) signed on July 23rd, 2020, loan agreement signed between DRC and OFID for an amount of USD 15 million;

1.2. The inclusive and resilient rural development support program (PADRIR) signed on May 28th, 2020 between DRC and IFAD for an amount of USD 26,640,000;

1.3. The urgent response operation to face the « COVID-19 » pandemic, agreement signed between DRC and Araba Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) on December 22nd, 2020 for an amount of USD 10 million;

1.4. From the road access development project to the road-rail bridge over the Congo River, loan agreement signed on June 19th, 2020 between DRC and ADB for an amount of 20.3 million credit units;

1.5. From the ozone water supply project, a loan agreement signed between DRC and OPEC Fund (OFID) dated July 23rd, 2020, for an amount of USD 30 million;

1.6. From the budget support program in response to the COVID-19 crisis, PABRC in acronym, loan agreement No. 210015004245 of October 7th, 2020 concluded between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the African Development Fund for an amount: 30.72 million units of credit equivalent to 43.62 million USD.

The Minister in charge of Finance has called for the adoption of the aforementioned bills for rapid transmission to Parliament during the current parliamentary session.

After consideration and deliberation, the Council of Ministers adopted them all.

In his conclusion, the President of the Republic recalled that this first contact meeting, held in person in compliance with the barrier measures against COVID-19, was an exception in this period of the Coronavirus pandemic. He insisted on strict respect for barrier gestures and announced the resumption of weekly meetings of the Council of Ministers.

Begun at 12:15 ’, the meeting of the Council of Ministers closed at 13:30’.