Congo’s Tshisekedi To Be Sworn in For Second Term as President

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Felix Tshisekedi, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is set to be sworn in today, January 20, 2023, for a second 5-year term following the constitutional court’s confirmation of his election victory last month.

Tshisekedi’s last swearing in was in 2019 after defeating Joseph Kabila, and he became president, promising to improve living conditions in the DRC and to also put an end to 25 years of war in the East.

Despite his vows, the conflict involving numerous armed groups, such as the M23, continues. Tshisekedi has taken various military and political initiatives, including appointing military leaders and launching disarmament operations, but according to Richard Moncrieff, Great Lakes Project director at the International Crisis Group (ICG), these efforts have not led to a reduction in the fighting east.

Moncrieff says that Tshisekedi needs to change his focus from short-term military solutions to lasting solutions.

“To bring all this to an end, Mr. Tshisekedi needs to reshift his focus from “short-term” military initiatives to lasting solutions, Moncrieff revealed to the media.

Tshisekedi’s victory is, however, being criticised, with three of the leading opposition parties staging a nationwide protest scheduled for today, coinciding with his inauguration.

One Bashinge Esperance, who fled from Masisi territory a month ago, where the M23 rebel group is being fought by the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s armed forces, expects that Tshisekedi will prioritise the country’s peace during his second term.

Many heads of state from DRC’s neighbours, including H.E. Vice President Jessica Alupo, who is representing H.E. Yoweri K. Museveni, President of Uganda, are going to be in attendance.

Other leaders include President William Ruto of Kenya and his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta, who will, for the first time in over a year, attend the same event since the latter handed over power.

Last month, the DRC’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tshisekedi the winner with 73% of the vote. Businessman Moïse Katumbi secured second place with 18%, Martin Fayulu secured third with 5%, and Anzuluni Bembe secured 1%.

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