Uganda: Museveni attends AU meeting on Congo poll

Kampala. President Museveni yesterday attended the high level consultative meeting that discussed the crisis arising from the December 30 Democratic Republic of Congo presidential elections.

The consultative meeting of selected heads of state, most of them from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to which DRC is a member, was called by the African Union chairman Paul Kagame.

Details of what was discussed and resolved in the meeting were still scanty by press time.

Mr Museveni confirmed his participation in a tweet he sent yesterday afternoon after arriving at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this afternoon to attend the Africa Union heads of state high level consultation meeting on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Mr Museveni tweeted.

He also posted photos of him and other heads of state during the session.

Ms Lindah Nabusayi, the presidential press secretary, told Daily Monitor that Mr Museveni and other East African Community heads of state were invited to the consultative meeting.

DRC’s outgoing president Joseph Kabila was not at the meeting attended by at least four leaders from the SADC block.

He was represented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Leonard Okitundu.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of DRC last week the leader declared of the main opposition party, Mr Felix Tshisekedi, the winner of the election in which the Congolese voted to replace President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power for close to 18 years.

Mr Tshisekedi narrowly defeated another opposition candidate, Mr Martin Fayulu, who came second while Mr Kabila’s chosen successor Mr Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary came third.

There were 21 candidates in the presidential race.

However, tensions remain high in Kinshasa and other major cities after Mr Fayulu a candidate of the opposition coalition, rejected the outcome of provisional results saying it was an “electoral coup”.

He has since filed a petition in the country’s constitutional court demanding for cancellation of results and ordering of a ballot recount.

Prior to the consultative meeting, the SADC members held a meeting referred to as “The Double Troika Summit to deliberate of the DRC election related issues.

About the meeting
A communique posted on the SADC website showed that the meeting chaired by Namibian president Dr Hage G. Geingob , was attended by presidents; Mr João Lourenço of Angola, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia.

Zimbabwe’s Emerson Mnangagwa was represented by Mr Raphael Faranisi the country’s ambassador to DRC.

Mr Okitundu briefed the summit on the situation in Kinshasa, including the ongoing constitutional court petition by Mr Fayulu.

The SADC summit which congratulated CENI of DRC for organising a “peaceful election,” asked the international community not to meddle in the country’s democratic process of finding the successor of Mr Kabila.

“Summit called upon the international community to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo in accordance with the AU Constitutive Act, and the SADC Treaty,” The communique reads in part.

By Daily Monitor

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