KINSHASA—The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today welcomed the announcement of continued and enhanced support for a national dialogue regarding the nation’s presidential election from the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), European Union (EU) and International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF).

Earlier this year the four partner organizations underscored the necessity of an inclusive political dialogue in the DRC, and today reaffirmed their full support for the facilitation of this dialogue led by former Togolese Prime Minister Edem Kodjo on behalf of the AU. To this end, they have agreed to set up a support group for this facilitation, which will also include representatives of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and the Southern African Development Community, and to mobilize the expertise and resources needed to maximize chances of achieving a successful dialogue.

“We welcome the support and encouragement expressed this week by the AU, UN, EU and IOF underlining the crucial importance of a political dialogue leading to a consensus that will allow for free, fair, transparent and credible elections. We also appreciate their decision to establish a support group for the facilitation of this dialogue to be advanced by Mr. Edem Kodjo on behalf of the AU,” said Minister of Media and Information Lambert Mende.

“The DRC Government encourages all other relevant partners to join in this effort so that a national dialogue can be convened at the earliest possible date, and the Congolese people can move forward, together, toward important elections that will strengthen our democracy.”

President Kabila first announced in May 2015 his plan to convene a national dialogue, shortly after the nation’s Independent National Electoral Commission issued an electoral calendar and in anticipation of preparations that would best be guided by consensus among all stakeholders. Since then, he has consulted with religious leaders, members of opposition parties and his own ruling coalition, diplomats and other foreign representatives to move forward with this critical discussion.

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