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GLOBAL REJECTION FOR TSHIANI LAW: UN Secretary General’s Rep In DRC Says Tshiani Bill Is Xenophobic; A Danger To Peace & Stability

Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bintou Keita, has added her voice to growing disapproval of a proposed law that seeks to block targeted candidates from contesting the presidential and general elections this year.

The bill known as “Congolite” and is being advanced by President Tshisekedi’s pawn, Noel Tshiani, has proposed that candidates without two Congolese parents should be barred from contesting the polls set for December 20, 2023.

Observers believe the bill is strictly targeted at popular opposition leader Moise Katumbi whose Greek-Jew father Nissim Soriano migrated to the then Belgian colony after fleeing the Holocust in the 1900s.

Keita, who is also Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, says the electoral process must be inclusive.

She says no Congolese should be excluded from seeking public office on the basis of his origin, that of his parents or his spouse.

Keita’s call echoes the message sent by Catholic bishops and the Congolese population in rebuffing what appears to be a time-bomb proposal.

“I have noted with concern the rise in political discourse with xenophobic and racist overtones which constitute a danger to national cohesion, peace and security.

“The electoral process must be inclusive. No Congolese should be excluded on the basis of their origin, that of their parents or their spouse,” she said.

Keita observed that that the electoral process has also been marred with numerous challenges which must be addressed in earnest for Congolese to appreciate the outcome of the polls were free of malpractice.

“The electoral process continues to be contested. The enrollment operations have experienced delays due to logistical and technical challenges. I take note of the extensions in the first two areas to make up for the delays incurred and to promote inclusiveness. However, I note that thousands of Congolese could not be enrolled due to insecurity. I also note with concern incidents of intimidation and preventing the recruitment of civilians on the basis of their identity or facial features. It is important to note that these incidents were denounced by the Congolese authorities,” she said.

The reaction by Keita is unsurprising as the controversial Tshiani bill was rejected two years ago when the American-Congolese economist who is on the run from the USA for failing to honour child support first introduced the proposal.

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