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Women from Around the World Condemn the election- related Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo - January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012 – New York

Women from Around the World Condemn the Election- related Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The International Civil society Action Network and the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders condemn the election-related violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The UK newspaper, The Guardian reported that at least 20 people have already been killed in election-related violence. Various groups have documented election irregularities from different provinces in the DRC including insufficient ballots, lack of security, destructions of polling stations and last minute replacement of electoral personnel. International election observers have questioned the credibility of the results while the two main candidates, incumbent Joseph Kabila and rival Etienne Tshisekedi both declare themselves winners. Congolese police have launched a crackdown in Kinshasa, forcing the people of Kinshasa and in particular Congolese youth to remain in their homes. More recently, members of President Kabila’s Republican Guard beat women who were demonstrating in front of the US embassy against the election irregularities. Some women peace activists have been receiving phone treats and are verbally abused on the streets. This is a clear attempt to intimidate women's organizations and civil society groups who are working to build peace and promote human rights and justice.

We stand in support of all women’s groups and civil society organizations demanding a peaceful resolution of the election–related conflict. We support the Cadre Permanent de Concertation de la Femme Congolaise (CAFCO)’s calls for:

• The Independent National Electoral Commission to publish the election results in detail and ensure transparency of the elections;
• The Candidates and political parties to resort to legal means to settle election disputes;
• The Congolese population to demonstrate maturity and good citizens’ behavior and practice a culture of respect, peace and justice; and
• The National Police to carry out their duty of protecting citizens with professionalism and accountability.

We call on regional institutions such as the African Union and the international community to assist the DRC in preventing post-election conflicts and provide all possible forms of support to ensure a fully democratic process. In accordance with UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions we also call on all international actors including the United Nations, European Union and others, to send envoys in order to keep tensions between the opposing political parties from escalating and assist them in creating opportunities for negotiation, help create peace accords, and possibly bring the two conflicting groups together. We also strongly urge that all envoys or missionsdispatched to the DRC have structured and systematic interaction with women and civil society organizations to benefit from the perspectives we offer and ensure that our concerns are addressed and we are included in the resolution of this crisis.

Organizations

1. African Women’s Active Nonviolence Initiatives for Social Change (AWANICh) – Ghana

2. Cadre Permanent de Concertation de la Femme Congolaise (CAFCO) - DRC

3. Centre d’Etudes sur la Justice et la Résolution 1325 (CJR 1325) – DRC

4. Center for Women in Governance (CEWIGO) – Uganda

5. Fountain ISOKO for Good Governance and integrated Development – Burundi

6. Lira Rural Women & Children Development Initiative Survivors' Shelter (LIRWOCDI – Uganda)

7. National Organization of Women (NOW) – Sierra Leone

8. Réseau d’Education Civique au Congo (RECIC) – DRC

9. Rwanda Women's Network (RWN) – Rwanda

10. Teso Women Peace Activists (TEWPA) – Uganda

11. Voice of the Voiceless – Liberia

12. Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET- Liberia)

13. Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET Nigeria)

14. Women Peace Initiatives – Uganda (WOPI-U)

15. Women's Peace Centre – Burundi

16. Middle East and North Africa Partnership for Preventing of Armed Conflict – (MENAPPAC)

17. Afghan Women's Network – Afghanistan

18. Asian Circle 1325 – Philippines

19. Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) - Intenrational

20. Centro de Education e Investigacin para la Paz (CEIPAZ –Spain)

21. Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE – Colombia)

22. FemLINKPacific – Fiji

23. Feminist Scholar Activists for Demilitarization (USA/International)

24. Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (Netherlands/International)

25. Institute for International Women's Rights at the University of Winnipeg Global College- Canada

26. Liga de Mujeres Desplazadas – Colombia

27. Miriam College Center for Peace Education – Philippines

28. Observatorio Género Democracia y Derechos Humanos – Colombia

29. Peace Women Partners - Philippines

30. Permanent Peace Movement – Lebanon

31. Red Nacional de Mujeres – Colombia

32. Rural Women Peace Link - Kenya

33. Saathi – Nepal

34. SAMANATA-Institute for Social and Gender Equality - Nepal

35. WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform

36. Women Allies Peacebuilders Network – Burundi

37. Women in Black - Belgrade, Serbia

38. Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (International)

Individuals

1. Cerue Garlo – Liberia

2. Betsy Kawamura, Women4NonViolence - Norway

3. Maud Edgren-Schori - Sweden

Date: 
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
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