We wrote in our last newsletter about the elections in Congo and the current political situation. Elections were on November 28, and the results were announced (for the presidential election) on December 9. The incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, was declared the winner by a margin of 48% to 32%.
This election was a landmark for DRC – the first democratic elections organized and controlled by Congo itself in more than forty years. If you have been following the international news, you know that international and independent observers have reported that there were severe irregularities in the election. Congolese people protested the results at their embassies in London, Chicago, Toronto, Brussels, and elsewhere. The atmosphere in Congo remains tense, with many people of the view that Etienne Tshisekedi, the strongest opposition candidate, was the true winner of the election. Despite talks of investigating the irregularities in the election, it is doubtful that another election would be held, or that the president would step down.
We talked to a Congolese colleague last week who is in Kananga. He said that the mood is somber, akin to a funeral. Many people, hopeful for change, are discouraged. This week, the Supreme Court in Congo heard official objections to the election results; today they confirmed Joseph Kabila as the winner and he is scheduled to be inaugurated for his next term next week.
Please pray for peace in Congo, and please pray for hope! Regardless of how anyone feels about these results, we pray that God would give HIS hope to people in Congo and that there would not be violence. It is not easy for the Congolese people to persevere in an oppressive economic and social climate. But one thing that we admire about the Congolese is their resilience and perseverance, and we pray those traits will carry people through in the days ahead.