DRC swipes at Macron after talks with African Union leader

2018-05-28 20:00
French President Emmanuel Macron. (Philippe Wojazer, Pool Photo via AP, File)

French President Emmanuel Macron. (Philippe Wojazer, Pool Photo via AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reacted angrily on Monday after French President Emmanuel Macron met the head of the African Union, apparently suspecting closed-door dealings on the crisis-riddled country's future.

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende blasted Macron for "dog-whistle remarks" that he made last Wednesday in Paris after meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who is also the AU's current chair.

The comments caused "discomfort, not to say anger" in Kinshasa, Mende told a press conference.

Macron had said, "France supports the initiative taken by the president of the African Union, in strict concertation with the president of Angola," but did not elaborate. Angola President Joao Lourenco was visiting Paris on Monday.

The verbal broadside from the DRC comes in a context of mounting tensions ahead of presidential elections scheduled for December 23.

Countries in central Africa are casting a worried eye, amid fears that the sprawling, volatile state could spiral once more into war, possibly drawing them into it.

DRC President Joseph Kabila has been in power since 2001 and should have stepped down at the end of 2016 after he reached his two-term constitutional limit - a constitutional clause has allowed him to remain in office until his successor is elected.

His presidency has been stained by a reputation for corruption, oppression of free speech and poor governance. The DRC's armed forces are struggling to repress conflict in the vast, lawless east, which is under the sway of multiple rebel groups.

Mende said, "We do not accuse the French president of anything. The question is about knowing what may have been said between him -because he spoke about it - and the president of Rwanda concerning the DRC without us knowing about."

"When the answer comes, if it is unsatisfactory, you can be sure that we will draw all the consequences," Mende said.

"No-one has the right to envisage solutions to our problems without us," he said, condemning "people who are nostalgic for the colonial order" and "closed-door meetings and open plotting against our country's sovereignty."

The representatives of France, Rwanda and Angola were called to the foreign ministry in Kinshasa on Saturday after Macron's remarks.

Previous conflicts in the DRC - from 1996-97 and from 1998-2003 - sucked in countries around central Africa, including the DRC's neighbours, Angola and Rwanda.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    au  |  paul kagame  |  rwanda  |  angola  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.