Statement of the Africa Liberal Network on the recent warrant of arrest for Moise Katumbi and his arrival in South Africa for medical treatment
Olivier Kamitatu Africa Liberal Network (ALN) President
21 May 2016
The ALN notes with extreme concern the warrant of arrest for Moise Katumbi, opposition leader and former Governor of Katanga Province.
Mr Katumbi has recently arrived in South Africa for medical treatment following the firing of teargas directed at him and his supporters.
The charges against Mr Katumbi follow extensive intimidation and arrest of numerous opposition supporters. With elections scheduled for November this year and President Joseph Kabila showing clear indications that he seeks an unconstitutional extension of his term, there is an urgent need for inclusive dialogue amongst all stakeholders.
The lack of both state resources and empowerment provided to Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) further inhibits the democratic right of Congolese citizens to participate in free and fair elections.
Further to the ALN’s resolution (adopted at the 12th General Assembly in January 2016) on the political crisis in the DRC, the Network calls for the end to violence and the start of peaceful, legitimate dialogue within the context of the rule of law. All parties, both opposition and majority, must be protected and guaranteed their rights in political activities and assembly.
The ALN furthermore calls for the protection of Mr Katumbi and a fair trial should there be credible evidence. If not, the government of President Kabila is to cease its intimidation and arbitrary arrest of the opposition.
The Network maintains the position that functioning democracies are bound by the rule of law and constitutionalism, including adherence to presidential term limits.
*With over 40 members, the ALN is the largest political network on the continent and the largest grouping of liberal parties outside Europe. The ALN is an associated organisation of Liberal International, the political family to which Liberal Democratic parties belong. The Network aims to promote Liberal Democratic principles across the African continent by providing a platform for like-minded liberals in Africa to share information, experience, skills, and ideas, and by capacitating our member parties with the skills they need to win elections and run governments based on Liberal values.