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We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, are deeply troubled by the lack of critical engagement that the international community has shown throughout the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Carter Center, the European Union, the Catholic Church and other national election observation organizations found that the elections held on November 28, 2011 were deeply flawed and marred by widespread irregularities. In order to prevent further violence and provide legitimacy to the government, we call on the United States and other members of the international community to take these immediate steps:
1) State clearly that they do not perceive the election results as legitimate and call on President Kabila to delay his inauguration ceremony until steps are taken to address these serious allegations. If the inauguration proceeds as scheduled, the United States and other international missions should consider non-attendance or at a minimum send a lower ranking diplomatic officer instead of the Ambassador.
2) Immediately ask for the deployment of an independent international mediation commission formed under international and regional auspices. The Commission will have a mandate to review the technical aspects of the electoral process and facilitate a solution to the crisis.
3) Call on the appropriate authorities to immediately halt the counting of the parliamentary election ballots until clear guarantees are put in place to ensure the credibility of the tallying process.
4) Make clear statements that the U.S. and other members of the international community are determined to ensure accountability for perpetrators of electoral and post-electoral violence in the appropriate international or national fora. Call on Congolese state security forces, in particular the Republican Guard, to cease immediately all abuses against civilians.
The following organizations and individuals support this statement:
Eastern Congo Initiative
International Crisis Group
Open Society Foundations
Anthony W. Gambino, Fellow, Eastern Congo Initiative
Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution
Jason Stearns, Analyst and author, “Dancing in the glory of monsters”