DRC Opposition Leader Calls For A Stop To Wars

Kalala, the founding president of DRC’s main opposition party, the National People’s Patriotic Party Congo (NPPPC) in a wide ranging interview with Radio VOP said the mineral rich country will continue sink into the abyss if the leaders do not address the issues of violence as a matter of urgency and the rebels have to put their arms down for the development of the country.

“Violence will always create more violence. The rebels have to put their arms down and join the ordinary citizens in the development of this country. We have to work together. If I happen to be president I will only be a leader who will be organizing the country’s wealth for the benefit of everyone,” said Kalala

He accused President Joseph Kabila’s army of rape and other abuses against civilians that he said amounted to war crimes.

He said local troops were committing atrocities in the areas around the remote North Kivu province.

“We can see what is going on in North Kivu, Oriental, Kisangani, women are being raped. We have failed our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters. My vision is to make the Congolese people happy and morally better. Everyone born in Congo must contribute to lives for our countrymen without discrimination,” Kalala said.

“There is need to sign a peace pact between the government and the people of DRC. Why kill each other? Our message as a party is just to tell the rebels that they are being wrong – killing does not bring any justice. Dialogue has to be a continuous process and this is for the good of the country’s future,” said Kalala during his visit to Harare.

He said the population of DRC regardless of their ethnic backgrounds just has to “understand each other and move forward”.

“I don’t see why we should continue fighting. May be the rebels have a legitimate cause that they are fighting for. Why don’t we listen to them and get their concerns. After all we are all Congolese,” said Kalala, who is an international lawyer who has studied in the United States and Canada.

Kalala said when the NPPPC takes over power from the Kabila led government he would underpin to fight violence and the continued plunder of the mineral resources.

“What do we need to end the violence of war, endemic abuses of women and the unconscionable poverty that gives children in this resource-rich land an average life expectancy of 46 years? Congo needs, among so many things, an end to the pillage of the nation’s resources that fuels the war and fills the pockets of a few in Congo and abroad,” he said.

Kabila has run the rich but notoriously corrupt nation since 2001 but he has come increasingly under pressure to deliver on promises that he made during a 2006 Presidential election campaign to eradicate graft that is undermining development.

“We supported and moved for the departure of Mobutu Sese Seko and the coming in of Laurent Kabila. Little did we know that his son (Joseph) would come in because this country is not a run by a monarchy. As a party we believe that we have the human resources that is needed to get DRC out this misery,” said the tough talking politician.

Kalala said despite the country massive mineral riches it has failed to develop economically.

“We want to see those resources benefit the people but not a few politicians. The country has a huge foreign debt yet we have so many resources. We have children who are not going to school because their parents cannot afford to pay the foreign currency,” he said adding that his party will formulate policies that are people centred.

The DRC elections are due in October 2011 for the presidential, 500-strong legislative assembly, provincial and local government.