WASHINGTON, DC—The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Ambassador to the United States, H.E. François Balumuene, released the following statement today after attending a hearing on Africa’s Great Lakes region held by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.

“I would like to thank Subcommittee on Africa Chairman Christopher Smith and his colleagues for their attention to the DRC and the progress we are pursuing to advance our democracy, grow our economy and strengthen our security.  We recognize the importance of fostering an environment within our country that will enable a peaceful and fair electoral process, and continue to make security gains that will contribute to sustainable peace. The DRC looks forward to cooperation and welcomes support as we advance all of these objectives.”

“Regarding adoptions, our government, like others, takes great care in addressing the adoption of Congolese children by foreign parents. We recognize that the period during which our government reviews and considers revisions to this process has been trying and difficult for the families involved. Our goal is to ensure that all adoptions comply with domestic and international laws and that our children receive the best care and love when they leave the country. Our review of pending cases continues with these objectives in mind, and I have met with both U.S. parents and their representatives in Congress to convey our determination to complete this process as soon as possible. We look forward to future partnership with the U.S. and American adoptive families to find solutions on these matters.”

Improved security has been and remains an important foundation for the development of the DRC’s democratic institutions. In addition to stating his commitment to uphold the Constitution, President Kabila called earlier this year for a national dialogue to encourage participation by all stakeholders and ensure a peaceful environment throughout the upcoming election period, which will culminate in 2016 with the presidential election.

For more information on the DRC’s significant gains to improve security in the country, please see the attached fact sheet.
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