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No Place For Violence In A Democracy


Opposition supporters and anti riot policemen face-off in front of the post office in Kinshasa, October 13, 2011.

Calls to violence by disaffected parties and other forms of hate speech undermine both the electoral and democratic processes.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections later this month. Despite enormous challenges, untold numbers of Congolese are participating constructively in the process, as candidates, party members, activists or workers putting the necessary logistical arrangements in place. Regrettably, there are also those who have committed acts of politically motivated violence. The United Nations, African Union, the U.S., and the European Union are greatly concerned about the potential for further violence as Election Day approaches.

The voting set for November 28 is an important milestone for Congolese democracy and should be a chance for the Congolese people to express their will in a peaceful and responsible manner. Calls to violence by disaffected parties and other forms of hate speech undermine both the electoral and democratic processes.

At this critical time in their nation's history, we strongly urge all Congolese political parties, their leaders and their supporters to renounce violence. We also call on the candidates to pledge to accept the results of a credible process. And we remind the Congolese government of its responsibility to make adequate preparations to ensure full participation and to provide a secure political space for candidates to campaign and for journalists to report on those activities.

The United States government reiterates its support for its Congolese partners in efforts to conduct transparent, credible and open elections in which the will of the people is peacefully expressed.

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