The United States reiterates its disappointment that signatories to the December 31 agreement were unable to reach agreement on the selection of a new Prime Minister in accordance with the agreement. Full and swift implementation by the government of the DRC of the agreement in conformance with UN Security Council Resolution 2348 is essential to ensure the first peaceful democratic transfer of power in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is also essential to ensuring that the desire of the Congolese people to vote in free and fair elections is respected. Unfortunately, uncertainty about the government’s commitment to implement the agreement and hold elections by the end of 2017 is creating a worrisome uncertainty across the DRC.
The United States encourages leaders of the opposition Rassemblement coalition to work with the Council of Catholic Bishops and other signatories to the December 31 agreement towards the goal of elections and a peaceful, democratic transfer of power. The United States urges both the DRC government and leaders of the political opposition to refrain from any statements or actions that could incite violence. The United States remains prepared to impose restrictions on individuals – whether government or opposition – who undermine DRC’s democratic institutions.