The storm in Congo-Kinshasa has been gathering for a year and the next six months are likely to prove critical. Warning of grave danger, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, together with former presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo, and seven other former Presidents, has called for credible elections as soon as possible.
Annan, Mbeki and Obasanjo have a special interest in Congo-K's
stability: they played a key role in brokering and guaranteeing the
pact in 2002 that set up a power-sharing government in Kinshasa, which
was headed by Joseph Kabila.
Now, he refuses to listen to them.
However, African Union leaders have, so far, failed to register even
mild concern about Congo's mounting chaos. Political dialogue has
ground to a halt with the opposition accusing Kabila of sabotaging the
Now there are signs that Angola's
government is losing patience.
Luanda's veteran foreign minister Georges
Chikoti has openly criticised
Kabila's handling of the rebellion in Kasai, which is driving refugees
across the border into Angola. In December, Angola withdrew its
military trainers from Congo, sending a signal it was no longer willing
to prop up Kabila militarily. Sindika
Dokolo, a Congolese businessman
and President José Eduardo dos Santos's
son-in-law, went further still,
urging demonstrations against Kabila and openly backing Moïse Katumbi,
the exiled Congolese opposition leader.