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The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Jean Ping, notes with concern the growing tension that prevails in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the eve of the holding of crucial elections, on November 28, 2011. In this regard, he deplores the violence that took place in Kinshasa, on November 26, 2011, which resulted in loss of life, as well as the various other incidents that marred the election campaign.
The Chairperson of the Commission recalls that the elections of November 28, 2011, the second after the long and bloody conflict in the DRC, should help consolidate peace and national reconciliation, strengthen the democratic process and lay the foundations for sustainable socio‐economic development for the benefit of all the Congolese people.
The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the message of restraint and the call for responsibility that he conveyed to the Congolese political actors during the working visit he undertook to the DRC, from November 6 to 8, 2011, following the pre‐electoral mission that the AU Panel of the Wise undertook to that country at the beginning of October, as well as the press statement of the 298th meeting of the Peace and Security of the AU, held on November 17, 2011.
In this context, he stresses the need for all stakeholders in the electoral process to exercise utmost restraint, to work towards creating the climate necessary for the holding of peaceful elections, and, should the results be challenged, to resort to the procedures and mechanisms provided to this end.
The Chairperson of the Commission encourages all Congolese voters to participate massively in the elections and to demonstrate the required level of civility for these elections to mark an important moment in the history of the DRC. The AU is closely coordinating its action with the various concerned international actors, and will spare no effort to support the promotion of peace and democracy in the DRC.