April 2018 Newsletter: Taking Action for Change in the Congo

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Sadaf Rahmani, aide to U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, met with Mwendo Congo leaders Lisa Nilles and Liz Andress in March to discuss the political crisis in the DRC.  The goal is to ensure on-going pressure by the U.S. on the DRC government for free and fair elections in 2018.  

Rep. Ellison serves on the executive committee of the bi-partisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress.  Nilles acknowledged the hearings held by the Commission in 2016 and 2017 on the dire situation in the DRC and urged continued pressure on the Kabila government to honor the constitution and step aside, having stayed beyond the constitutional limit of two terms in office.

The February 2018 UN Security Council testimony of Ida Sawyer, Human Rights Watch Director for Central Africa, was shared with Rahmani as an up-to-date, reliable source of information on the constitutional crisis in the DRC.  Sawyer states, “The Security Council, together with the African Union and other UN member states, have a critical opportunity to demonstrate that their interests lie with respecting and advancing the rights of the Congolese people. But that will require moving quickly from strong declarations to concrete actions.”  The full testimony is available here.

Mwendo Congo leaders will continue to work with Rep. Ellison’s staff to find ways to sustain pressure to ensure free and fair elections occur in 2018.