To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with regard to recent protests in Kinshasa and in the eastern provinces of that country.
19 February 2015
I refer the noble Lord to my previous response of 12 February (HL4593). During the recent period of unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officials at our Embassy in Kinshasa were in regular contact with the DRC authorities, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued a press statement on 20 January urging calm and restraint and calling on the DRC government and Parliament to listen to the concerns of protesters.
Our Ambassador was in contact with the Government of DRC at the highest levels and with opposition politicians throughout the protests. He urged for a consensus on electoral reform to be built that would help to forge the path to free, fair and peaceful elections in 2016. On 25 January a revised electoral law was passed, and on 26 January an FCO press statement welcomed the revised electoral law which sought to address some of the protestors’ concerns. We are pleased that calls for an end to violence were heeded.