East African Community Observers Not Welcome for Democratic Republic Elections

The East African Community says its election observer mission would not participate in the Democratic Republic of Congo elections. Its request to undertake observer duties was blocked by President Felix Tshisekedi’s government.

However, it has allowed the Africa Union and SADC observers to participate, raising tensions between the country and the EAC which it joined last year in April. Kinshasa has ejected the eastern peacekeeping force EACRF from eastern DRC, accusing it of not helping it fight M23. It has just recalled its ambassador to Kenya, after a DRC opposition alliance formed its formation in Nairobi. President Tshisekedi also just angrily threatened to invade Rwanda, and run President Paul Kagame out of office.

In late 1996, following similar rhetoric from strongman Mobutu Sese Seko, and attacks on northern Rwanda from eastern DRC, Kigali, stringing along Congolese rebels, mounted a campaign against the Mobutu regime. In September 1997, after 11 months, they ousted Mobutu. Tshisekedi clearly believes his fortunes will be better.