PROPOSAL FOR INSTALLING AN EXECUTIVE BODY OF TRANSITION IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
The purpose of this document is to present the project to establish an Executive Body of Transition (French: “Corps Executif de Transition” [CET]) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The purpose of this transitional administration is to put an end to the recurrent instability of the country and to lead to the organization of democratic elections. Indeed, this instability has already had catastrophic consequences for the protection of the population and the macroeconomic stabilization of the country, with safe risks of spill over the whole region of Central Africa, and even an impact on global terrorism.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) covers an area comparable to that of Western Europe. It has nine neighbors and its population, estimated in 2015 to more than 80 million inhabitants, places it in sixteenth position among the most populous countries of our planet. According to projections by the World Bank, in 2035, the DRC will become the tenth demographic power of the planet.
After the end of the M23 insurrection in 2013, the level of instability has been reduced, with the help of the international community. This change marked the end of two decades of external instability, which began with the arrival in DRC of a million Rwandans fleeing the civil war in Rwanda where five hundred thousand citizens perished in a tragic genocide. This led to the first continental war in Africa, which led directly and indirectly to the deaths of more than eight million people and the displacement of one million others in the DRC.
In 2016, turbulence such as Beni was still active in the eastern part of the DRC, before the current electoral crisis broke out. This crisis, which is very destabilizing, is mainly due, on the one hand, to the failure of President Joseph Kabila to organize the elections in accordance with the timetable set by the Constitution and, on the other hand, to the determination of the opposition to use all means to make the country ungovernable, since the disputed elections of 2011, going so far as to use the population as cannon fodder. These actions triggered a new wave of internal instability in the central part of the DRC, resulting in thousands of killings in the Kasai region, including two United Nations experts and more than one million displaced persons.
The acceleration of internal instability could lead to external interventions, with considerable human cost consequences not only within national borders but throughout the Central African and Great Lakes region, location, size and demographic weight of the DRC. The world does not need a new seat of insecurity the size of Central Africa, which could increase the level of international terrorism.
The international community has certainly attempted to reduce the crisis situation in the DRC by supporting the organization of a national dialogue.
The first is the national dialogue led by the African Union, facilitated by HE Mr. Edem Kodjo and supported by the support group of the African Union, SADC, ICGLR, EU, the Special Envoy of the United Nations and the OIF, which led to the agreement of 18 October 2016 and the coalition government of Badibanga. However, these efforts did not ensure the participation of a part of the opposition, grouped in the “Rally” under the leadership of an icon of the opposition, the late Etienne Tshisekedi.
The dialogue, under the aegis of the Catholic Church, was organized by the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), promoted by the same international support group, as well as by the Security Council of UN. This dialogue resulted in the agreement of 31 December 2016, the implementation of which failed because of its appendix, called “Special Arrangement”, corresponding to an agreement for the individual interests of the political staff. After a four-month disagreement, CENCO withdrew from its mediation role, noting the impasse. President Kabila used this failure to further divide the “Gathering”, which was further hampered by an internal struggle after the death of Mr. Tshisekedi.
The two dialogues have in common the desire to accelerate the organization of elections. However, we believe that by not addressing the cause of the recurrent internal instability and insecurity in the DRC, namely the absence of an effective state, there will be no democratic elections in the DRC, but a plebiscite with disastrous consequences. It is important to note that during the two “dialogues”, the time devoted to finding solutions to control the internal factors of instability of the country and to increase the security of the population was null in comparison with the debates on the unrealistic fixing of an electoral calendar to December 2017. While it is true that the organization of regular elections and respect for the Constitution are necessary to support a democratic culture, elections should not have priority over the establishment of effective state institutions to channel legitimate democratic demands.
There is no doubt that the CENCO initiative helped to defuse an explosive situation in December 2016. But by focusing on individual interests rather than the national interests of the DRC, negotiations under the leadership of the CENCO inadvertently, allowed President Kabila to continue to divide opposition members by drawing them to ministerial positions in order to exploit their thirst for illegal enrichment.
In addition to the unrealistic timing of elections, the two “national dialogues” led to two successive governments, led by the opposition, sharing power with President Kabila in three months.
However, the security situation has deteriorated because of the encouragement of recruitment of ethnic militias causing death and terror in several parts of the country by irresponsible politicians for political gain and because of blind and disproportionate repression by the security forces. The Kasai region has just joined the Kivu and the Northern Katanga in the list of dangerous regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This proves that maintaining President Kabila at the head of the state while allowing him to share lucrative ministerial posts with members of a pseudo-opposition aspiring to illicit enrichment is quite the reverse of a cure for the weak administrative capacity and the political instability of the State. The “special arrangements” solution cannot be a substitute for an effective increase in the state’s ability to protect its citizens and to ensure stability in order to gain loyalty, which is the least costly peaceful way for transition in the DRC. Moreover, the high level of current internal instability makes it possible to organize free and fair elections at the end of 2017 an unlikely scenario.
In addition to instability, many financial and material constraints make the organization of the December 2017 elections unrealistic. Last June, a joint mission of the IMF and the World Bank recommended to the Congolese authorities to lower the budget estimates for 2017, described as a year of continuing deep economic crises. The DRC, which has virtually no reserves, will not be able to mobilize the $ 1.8 billion needed for the current electoral cycle (the most expensive elections per capita in the world) without seeking external assistance or cutting budgets social.
Even if the necessary financial resources were mobilized, the wisdom of such an investment is questionable in the DRC, where according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) it is estimated that three-quarters of the population is ” have no access to safe drinking water … although the country contains more than half of the water supply in Africa and the improvement of delivery would require only one tenth of the budget of the elections.
Moreover, it should be noted that the high cost of elections is mainly due to the lack of transport infrastructure. The equivalent of the election amount represents the cost of a two-lane paved road from east to west of the DRC; a route which, had it been chosen instead of such a plebiscite, would not only have reduced the cost of elections in the future, but would have also generated a multiplier effect on the local and regional development of the country, potentially one of the world’s richest, but whose population is ranked among the least developed according to the Human Development Index and among the poorest in the world.
In view of the above:
• Considering that instability in the DRC continues to threaten its population, international peace and security;
• Recognizing that the DRC suffers from a high deficit in state capacity and the political leaders’ unwillingness to give priority to the higher interests of the Nation in relation to their own interests or sectarian interests;
• And because of the urgency;
We, as a group of intellectuals from the Congolese diaspora, wrote an open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 6 January 2016. We ask that the latter use all legal means within the competence of the United Nations to institute a temporary administration called the “Corps Executif de Transition” or Transitional Executive Corps (CET)” to manage the DRC for a transitional period of 36 months. The CET will be made up of Congolese technocrats who have demonstrated their academic and professional qualifications and choose absolute apoliticism and neutrality during the transition period leading to the organization of democratic elections.
Below please read the description of the CET’s mission, its objectives, its structure and its duration.
- MISSION OF THE CET
The main task of the CET will be to prepare and organize a population census, as well as credible, transparent, peaceful and inexpensive elections, with mobilized resources made available to it as a transitional government.
The fulfillment of this mission will require the Transitional Executive Body to strengthen the state processes and institutions that will ensure the implementation of related activities that are necessary to curb political tensions and promote social peace.
- CET OBJECTIVES:
The objectives of the CET are listed below:
Strengthening State institutions
The DRC remains a fragile state because of the lack of political will and its inability to provide the necessary public goods and services to the population.
The priority of the CET’s priorities will therefore be the strengthening of state institutions that ensure security; the establishment of the rule of law; the effectiveness of basic public services.
2. Instituting good governance
Good governance requires improving the quality and integrity of governance, which are important factors in generating the legitimacy without which a state would have difficulties to raise or maintain the level of loyalty of its people to it. Good governance has three aspects:
a. Security :
Exercise a monopoly of force to maintain the integrity of borders, ensure the security of property and persons, and enforce the laws and norms of society throughout Congolese territory. The continuing massacre of Congolese citizens in the Congo-Uganda and Congo-Rwanda border areas must stop, and local or foreign militia present in these areas must be disarmed.
Ensure the effectiveness of public services and ensure the implementation of mechanisms for the redistribution of economic resources in favor of social, employment, economy, education, health, the environment, and the construction of socio-economic infrastructure, in particular.
c. Rule of law:
To work for the strengthening of the rule of law. This implies the separation of the executive, legislative and judicial branches; the establishment of institutions to ensure full and inclusive representation of all citizens in government after the transition; the protection of the fundamental rights of all citizens.
- Valuing the career of State agent
The strengthening of the State in the DRC requires reforms and the training and / or retraining of State personnel, whether civil, military, diplomatic, judicial, etc., in order to revitalize the institutions. These reforms and training will be carried out in cooperation with the United Nations and will benefit from multilateral or bilateral assistance. The aim is to raise the level of competence of the State staff. The State will also have to accelerate the recruitment of young graduates from secondary and higher education, in order to remedy the lack of skills on certain posts. In addition, the development of new information technologies will be promoted in order to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Soldiers and civil servants should receive decent remuneration that takes into account the cost of living and without delay. On the other hand, severe sanctions will be imposed on state employees who would use their positions for personal gain.
4. Organizing a national dialogue
A national dialogue should lead to a negotiated agreement between the State and – beyond the political actors – society as a whole, which could lead to a revision of the Constitution. Nevertheless, any modification of the Constitution must be made not to satisfy personal ambitions, but only in the best interests of the country. The constitutional article which limits the presidential term to two terms will have to be reinforced by other articles, if necessary. It should also be pointed out that the national dialogue should in no case be confused with encounters for political accommodation with the particular arrangements of individuals or groups of individuals to the detriment of the general interest which must be rejected.
5. Preparing elections
The current electoral system is not viable because of its cost (1.2 billion US dollars) disproportionate to the financial mobilization capacities of the Congolese state. Moreover, compared to the electoral systems of other countries, the Congolese system is the most expensive in the world per capita. Moreover, given that money appears to be the main means of selecting candidates, the current system can not lead to free, fair and transparent elections. This system must therefore be substantially revised.
- Conducting the population census
The state needs basic information about its citizens for effective public planning. Census data directly affects representation in legislative and presidential elections. As the last census in the DRC dates back to the 1980s, the organization of a new census is therefore important not only for development planning but also for the registration of voters. But given the constraints, the option of an administrative census should be preferred to that of a scientific census.
7. Eliminating impunity
The CET should endeavor to put an end to the current impunity of perpetrators of serious crimes in violation of national and / or international law, including sexual violence against women and killings. These widespread crimes in the DRC, especially in the eastern part of the country, will not cease until their perpetrators and government authorities who stand in the way of criminal investigations and prosecutions are not brought to justice.
8. Fighting corruption
The high rate of corruption in the DRC does not allow the State to mobilize sufficient revenues necessary for the reduction of poverty, the functioning and the development of the infrastructures essential for a modern State. The CET will lead a relentless fight against corruption in order to optimize the collection of resources and stop their squandering.
9. Mobilizing Youth
Youth is the spearhead of the future of a people, of a country. According to population estimates, the Congolese population in 2014 was 85 million, 60% of whom were under 20 years of age. We can not ignore this category of the population if we want to build a radiant national future. One must see in youth a hope.
Is it not said that a nation without prepared youth is a nation without a future? Therefore, preparing young people for a better tomorrow, both for themselves and for the whole country, is an obligation, a challenge for the survival of the nation.
Youth is the best bulwark against obscurantism and extremism when it is well educated, that its legitimate ambitions are not neglected and that its energies are channeled for the stability and development of the country. This requires and deserves better supervision by state institutions.
In addition to formal education for young people, it is necessary for them to have good programs of civic education, channeling their energy through professional, social and entrepreneurial integration, invention, creativity, as well as an introduction to sports and the arts, enabling them to realize their juvenile potential and to promote their country in many fields. It’s an emergency.
To this end, the CET will draw on programs such as the “New Deal”, initiated by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to mobilize Congolese youth to start construction of infrastructure, produce and defend the country against internal and external destabilization. For it is illogical that a country with so many arms and so many natural resources in arable land and water leaves its youth to serve as cannon fodder instead of producing, if only for its primary needs.
10. Protecting and valuing women
Out of an estimate of more than 80 million Congolese, the feminine gender constitutes more than half of the Congolese population. In the cycles of instability in the DRC, it is women who endure, in addition to the suffering that also afflicts men, rape used as a weapon to annihilate the nation and it is the primary task of educating children. And even when their spouses are alive, in an economy dominated by the informal, they still support the family by organizing some “commercial” activities.
The phrase “educating a woman educates a nation” thus becomes meaningful in the DRC and could therefore also mean “who protects a woman protects a nation”. To better educate and protecting women in Congo should not encourage increased participation in public institutions or so far it remains low (2-4%) compared to women in other countries in the same area than the DRC?
The challenge to equality between men and women therefore depends on the gradual recovery of the current situation of under-representation of Congolese women in public institutions. Equal jurisdiction, ceteris parabus, the assignment of women to positions of responsibility in public institutions will be encouraged by the CET, since such discrimination is not detrimental to the proper functioning of the institutions.
- STRUCTURE OF THE CET
The CET will function as a government of technocrats (taking into account the realities and needs of the people). It will be headed by a Coordinator. The latter will have the status of Prime Minister and will be assisted by all Congolese Mandatory Generals. In order to give a strong signal in favor of inclusion and against tribalism and sexism, the CET must be constituted of competent and probable Congolese, representative of all the provinces, without discrimination of son-in-law and who do not aspire to assume a political role immediately after the transition; to form a solid composite body for effective and constructive actions that promote the whole country.
- DURATION OF THE CET MISSION
The term of the CET will be 36 months or 3 years non-renewable.
Date of publication: 11/06/2017
Email: CET@congokinmedia.com Phone: (1) 319 504 9213
© CET 2017