Closing Remarks at a UN Security Council Open Arria-Formula Meeting on the DRC

Ambassador Nikki Haley
February 12, 2018


One thing I want to say is that you had made a comment that people have to visit Congo to understand it. I did visit it, I did see it, and I did hear the people. You have an international community that wants to help you. You have an international community that has just spent hours here talking about how we go forward. And you have an international community that really wants to see free and fair elections. I understand your frustration and your reasons for getting angry earlier, but I will say this: in reference to the deaths, please ask Mr. Kabila what he did with my list. I gave him a list, and no action has been taken. That list is what we know needs to be looked at, and it is a serious list in reference to the deaths of those two people.

Secondly, when you say you’re tired of how people talk about the Democratic Republic of Congo, there’s no joy in being able to talk about the Democratic Republic of Congo. But for the good of the people, I spoke to the people in and out of the camps. These people want a good life. They want a good quality of life. They want to be able to express themselves without having to worry about, if they protest, whether they’re going to have ammunition fired at them or whether they’re going to be harshly treated.

And so while you are upset about feeling negative comments towards the DRC, I will tell you instead of voicing your frustration, we would appreciate good actions by the DRC to make sure they’re listening to their people and they’re working with CENI and the regional partners to have free and fair elections and to actually show actions – not yelling at the bishops, not blaming everyone else – but to make sure you understand that your country and your administration is responsible for the suffering of the people in that country.

And only you can fix it. We all want to support you in fixing it. But I saw those kids. There’s no hope in their eyes right now. I listened to those mothers. They’re sad with the thought that their children won’t have jobs and will have no future. This is the chance for the Kabila administration to think about a legacy. Do you want the legacy of what it’s been already – with fighting and repression and excuses? Or do you want a country that shows what it’s like to stand up, take responsibility, and finally listen to the voices of the people of Congo? They deserve it.

To our briefers, Security Council members, and regional participants, thank you for your thoughtful remarks and continued engagement on the DRC. We will continue to watch this closely. I say to CENI, all eyes of the world are on you. I say to the DRC, you have a lot of friends that want to see you be successful. And I say to the Congolese people, we won’t give up until you have free and fair elections. And I ask all of you, that while we’ve had this lengthy meeting today, we’re not done yet. And every month we need to look at those benchmarks and see if we’ve followed through.

Thank you, very much.