A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement today (2 January 2017) at the governmental press conference:
“On 31 December 2016, representatives of the government and the opposition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo signed an agreement that points the way to free and fair elections in 2017.
It is a good thing that this agreement was finally reached, and that it is obviously being accepted by the political stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This means the country now has the prospect of, and a roadmap for, truly democratic transition. We therefore call upon all political actors to consistently and transparently implement the agreement, fully respecting its terms and the national constitution. We call upon all those involved to uphold human rights, to investigate and get to the bottom of violations that have occurred in recent weeks and months, and to hold to account those who were responsible. We also call for the release and rehabilitation of the activists and members of the opposition who were taken into custody.
The Catholic Bishops Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo deserves our profound gratitude, for it facilitated the talks and thereby significantly contributed to the agreement that has now been reached. Together with our European partners, we will observe the transition process, and we stand ready to support the elections, which will hopefully be held before the end of this year.”