WATCH: DRC is not going back to civil war, says envoy
06 October 2016, 12:12
Cape Town – The Democratic Republic of Congo's ambassador to South Africa, Bene M’Poko, has vowed that the central African country will never experience another civil war, despite the ongoing unrest.
A wave of deadly protests, pitting police against demonstrators, hit the DRC in late September, as the opposition demanded President Jospeh Kabila’s resignation.
Media reports indicated that the opposition in the country feared that Kabila would not step down when his term expired in December.
Speaking during an interview with News24, M'Poko said that the developments in his country would not degenerate into civil war.
"What we are experiencing today is what you can experience in any other country. From time to time people riot and demonstrate and unfortunately people lose their lives… two, three, ten people get killed. I'm not saying that is right. I think we should not even lose one person under those circumstances.
"What we are seeing today, compared to what we experienced 15 years ago, is totally [different]… The country is back to normal… We are not going back to civil war," said M'Poko.
Listen to M'Poko speaking below.
The envoy said that he was confident that the ongoing talks between government, opposition parties and civil organisations would bear fruit.
"You can trust the Congolese people to find a solution. When Congolese get together they always find a solution. I have full confidence that the people in the dialogue will find a way forward," said M'Poko.
His remarks came as the country’s main opposition parties on Wednesday renewed calls for the international community and the United Nations to take a more active role in bringing about an inclusive dialogue on elections.
Etienne Tshisekedi, leader of the largest opposition party, called on supporters to demonstrate on October 19 if progress wasn’t made toward fair elections.
The country's electoral commission announced over the weekend that it expected the polls to be delayed until December 2018. It said it required at least "504 days starting from July 31, 2017 to deal with a string of challenges" in its bid to organise the presidential and legislative election.