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In DR Congo As Fayulu Says He Is President UN Guterres Prepares Tshisekedi Congratulation Letter

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Hill DRC scope

UNITED NATIONS GATE, January 20 – In the DR Congo where the UN uses a "Force Intervention Brigade" but on which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has refused to answer questions from the Press he has banned for 190 days, audio here, voting was further postponed into official meaninglessness, it seems, in Beni and two other largely opposition cities, Butembo and Yumbi. The Internet was intentionally slowed or cut all together, as Cameroon's Paul Biya and others have also done. On January 9-10 after delay and a long read out Felix Tshisekedi was named provisional winner by the CENI with 38.57%, which said Martin Fayulu got 6,366,732 votes, amid doubts. Guterres is silent; on January 17 he held a closed door Town Hall meeting with UN staff and threw his own envoy to Somalia Nicholas Haysom under the bus, calling Haysom's human rights questions to the government there "impolite" and "arrogant." Banned Inner City Press has uploaded that video here. Presumably that's why he's been silent on Kabila's moves. On January 18 Guterres mistook Sudan for DRC, video here. On January 21 Guterres' spokes- / hatchetman Stephane Dujarric said that Guterres will be sending Felix Tshisekedi a letter of congratulations out after the inauguration.  This will in DRC Martin Fayulu has said, "I now consider myself as the sole legitimate President-elect of the DRC. Therefore, I ask the Congolese people not to recognize any individual who would claim this authority illegally nor to obey orders that would emanate from such a person." Still Guterres is silent - looking at map? Finger in the wind? Kabila's Constitutional Court has ignored the AU Congo’s constitutional court confirmed Felix Tshisekedi’s presidential election win on Sunday, dismissing a challenge from another opposition leader who had accused him and the ruling party of stitching up the result.  RELATED COVERAGE Congo opposition candidate Fayulu declares himself president Congo opposition candidate Fayulu declares himself president Second-placed Martin Fayulu had rejected the provisional tally for Democratic Republic of Congo’s election released last week, saying it was the product of a secret deal between Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila to cheat him out of a clear win of more than 60 percent.  SPONSORED   Kabila and Tshisekedi’s camps denied making any deal.  The provisional results in the poll, which was meant to enable Congo’s first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence from Belgium, showed Tshisekedi winning with a slim margin over Fayulu. Kabila’s favored candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary came in a distant third.   Government spokesman Lambert Mende said by telephone that the ruling party had “taken note” of the court decision.  “Felix Tshisekedi will become the fifth president of the republic,” Mende said.  The ruling was unlikely to silence critics. Congo’s constitutional court is widely seen as beholden to Kabila, who has been in power since his father was assassinated in 2001. It may also worsen the sporadic unrest that has already seen 34 people killed, 59 wounded and 241 “arbitrary arrests” in the past week. On January 17 from the African Union, this: "The meeting was chaired by the Chairperson of the AU, and attended by a number of Heads of State and Government or their representatives from SADC, the ICGLR, ECCAS, ECOWAS, IGAD, EAC, the African members of the UN Security Council, the AU troika, as well as by the Chairperson of the AU Commission.  The meeting was briefed on the electoral process in the DRC and subsequent developments by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DRC. The meeting also received updates from the Chairpersons of the ICGLR, SADC and the AU Commission, and had in-depth exchanges of views thereafter.  The Heads of State and Government attending the meeting concluded that there were serious doubts on the conformity of the provisional results, as proclaimed by the National Independent Electoral Commission, with the votes cast. Accordingly, the Heads of State and Government called for the suspension of the proclamation of the final results of the elections.  The Heads of State and Government agreed to urgently dispatch to the DRC a high-level delegation comprising the Chairperson of the Union and other Heads of State and Government, as well as the Chairperson of the AU Commission, to interact with all Congolese stakeholders, with the view to reaching a consensus on a way out of the post-electoral crisis in the country." On January 16, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino has said, "The United States stands with the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at this historic moment.  It is the people who should determine their country’s future through a fully transparent and constitutional process.  The United States recognizes the legitimate concerns over the transparency of the electoral process.  As the tabulation process continues, we urge the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) to ensure that the final declared results reflect the will of the Congolese people, as expressed through the ballot box on December 30, 2018.   The United States supports the lawful right of candidates to file a legal challenge to the election results and urges the Constitutional Court to execute a lawful, fair, and transparent process for resolving electoral disputes.  The United States will hold accountable those who perpetrate election violence or undermine democratic processes.  Maintaining peace in the DRC depends on a fully transparent and legal process to resolve any concerns regarding election results." On January 15 the UN Security Council has issued a press statement: "The members of the Security Council took note of the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of the provisional results of the presidential and provincial elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 10 January 2019 and of the legislative elections on 12 January.  They welcomed the peaceful holding of the elections, despite technical, logistical and security challenges on the day of the vote and the decision to suspend the vote in certain parts of the country for specific health and security reasons. They congratulated the millions of Congolese people who went to the polls with calm and determination to express their wish, and commended the Congolese people and political actors for the conduct of the presidential, national and provincial elections, which saw broad and inclusive participation of political parties. They further welcomed the important role played by national as well as the regional observation missions of SADC and the African Union and took note of their efforts in promoting transparent and fair elections among their members.  The members of the Security Council further congratulated all parties and stakeholders in the DRC for ensuring peace and stability during the election processes and urged all interested parties to refrain from violence. They stressed the need for all concerned stakeholders to act in a way that reaffirms the integrity of the electoral process and respects the outcome of the poll, upholds democracy and preserves peace in the country. They appealed for the pursuit of national unity and peacebuilding, including through political dialogue among all stakeholders.  The members of the Security Council noted that disputes have been lodged before the Constitutional Court. They encouraged all concerned stakeholders to preserve the generally peaceful climate of the elections, and to take up any reservations or disputes through the proper mechanisms and processes provided for in the constitution of the DRC and its electoral law. They reiterated their full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC, in accordance with the UN charter.  The members of the Security Council reiterated their continued support and commitment, in collaboration with regional actors and international partners, for the consolidation of peace, stability and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo." The International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), a 12-member group including even Angola and Republic of Congo, has said, "We suggest that the competent structures consider counting the votes in order to guarantee the transparency of the results." Guterres' UN is, typically, pro-Kabila as it was in covering up his government's role in the killing of UN experts Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan - the order to murder was given in Lingala and not the purported murderers' dialect; the interpreters worked for the government. Guterres' UN's role is almost as shameful as so far in Cameroon - almost. On January 11 when the Security Council met, penholder France was quick to urge acceptance of the results, and its media wrote it up this way. But in covering the meeting, even from outside banned by Antonio Guterres and with the UN's app / ironically entitled "Audio Now" call-in service run by USG Alison Smale not working or off-line, it was significant for example that Germany brought up the cut Internet and the need for transparency, as did Belgium. AFP, of course, did not cover this. And Guterres had roughed up and banned the Press that asks about it, and him. How very Kabila. On January 10 the US State Department issued this: "  State Dept website  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE  Office of the Spokesperson  For Immediate Release   STATEMENT BY ROBERT PALLADINO, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON  January 10, 2019  The Provisional Election Results in the Democratic Republic of the Congo  The United States takes note of the National Independent Electoral Commission's announcement of the provisional results of December 30 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We congratulate the millions of courageous voters who went to the polls across DRC to cast their ballots after two years of delay. Many of these voters waited long hours for the chance to make their voices heard.  Many other voters were unable to vote due to challenges with the organization of polling stations, missing election materials, or the cancellation of elections in the Ebola affected areas of Beni and Butembo, yet still found creative, peaceful, and inspirational ways to express their desire for a more peaceful and prosperous Congo.  The United States stands with the people of Congo at this historic moment and it is they who should determine their country’s future.  The United States also notes the importance of President Joseph Kabila's decision to abide by his constitutionally mandated term limits and transfer power to a successor.  The National Independent Electoral Commission has announced provisional results, but we await clarification of questions which have been raised regarding the electoral count.  The United States notes that stakeholders have the option to request a review of the announced provisional results to ensure they reflect the will of the Congolese people as expressed through the ballot box. We urge all stakeholders to remain calm as the process continues. Violence is unacceptable, and the U.S. Government will hold accountable those who perpetrate election-related violence or impede the democratic process." For days, Inner City Press has asked Guterres and his spokesmen, "On DRC, what is the SG's action and comment on the reported slowing and cutting of Internet, FM radio and text messaging services by the government, as well as on what should be done with the votes from Beni and the other excluded areas." There was, typically, no answer despite the promise of answers by Guterre's USG Alison Smale to UNSR David Kaye. And now the UN Security Council meeting that had been set for January 8, and of which Council "penholder" France through its Ambassador Francois Delattre made so much on January 4 has been canceled. Some pen-holding. Kaye has issued this, on the DRC: "A general network shutdown is in clear violation of international law and cannot be justified by any means,” said David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression.  “Access to information is crucial for the credibility of the ongoing electoral process. Shutdowns are damaging not only for people’s access to information, but also for their access to basic services,” the expert said.  A senior government official said that internet and SMS services were cut to preserve public order after “fictitious results” began circulating on social media, and that the disconnections would remain until the publication of results on 6 January.  Reports indicate that the shutdown is hindering electoral observers and witnesses in relaying information from rural polling stations to the local centres for compiling results. It is also hampering the UN mission’s (MONUSCO) ability to communicate with its partners in the field, including with protection mechanisms.  “I urge the authorities to restore internet services as a matter of urgency and to ensure the integrity of a fundamental democratic exercise such as this one,” the Special Rapporteur said.  In 2016, the Human Rights Council passed a resolution which unequivocally condemned measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online in violation of international human rights law, and called on all States to refrain from and cease such measures.  This followed the 2015 Joint Declaration of UN and regional experts in the field of freedom of expression, which stated that network shutdowns or internet “kill switches” are measures which can “never be justified under human rights law”.  The UN Special Rapporteur will continue to closely monitor developments in DRC and is at the disposal of the authorities to provide assistance as required." On January 4 this was filed with the US Congress: "United States Armed Forces personnel have deployed to Libreville, Gabon, to be in position to support the security of United States citizens, personnel, and diplomatic facilities in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. This deployment of approximately 80 personnel is in response to the possibility that violent demonstrations may occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in reaction to the December 30, 2018, elections there. The first of these personnel arrived in Gabon on January 2, 2019, with appropriate combat equipment and supported by military aircraft. Additional forces may deploy to Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Republic of the Congo, if necessary for these purposes. These deployed personnel will remain in the region until the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed." After the Security Council's closed door 3 pm meeting, there was no agreed statement only French Ambassador Francois Delattre telling the correpondents whom Antonio Guterres has NOT had roughed up and banned that December 30 allowed the Congolese to express themselves. What about the at least 1.2 million disenfranchised people in Beni, Yumbi and elsewhere? Inner City Press, banned from entering the UN for the 184th day, was not allowed to enter and ask. This is today's UN. Earlier on January 4, the UN sleight of hand: concern outsources to Michelle Bachelet (sometimes) in Geneva, who owes her job to Guterres. Here's the UN's storyline:  "SOUNDBITE (English) – Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “What my colleagues have told me and they have observed is that the situation remains calm but tense ahead of the announcement of the results of the election. There are preliminary reports of some pockets of violence and people being injured.” Medium shot, journalists. SOUNDBITE (English) – Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “Intimidation and harassment against journalists, opposition candidates and human rights defenders continues to take place. This being a very sensitive, as I said, a very tense period we are concerned that these efforts to silence dissent could backfire considerably when the results are announced. We are watching carefully and we are calling on all sides to refrain from the use of violence.” Close-up: hand typing SOUNDBITE (English) – Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR): “The internet is cut off, the signal of Radio France Internationale RFI has been tampered with, as well as Canal Congo Television, which apparently belongs to the leader of the MLC, Jean-Pierre Bemba.”
But Bachelet has said nothing about Guterres roughing up and banning Inner City Press for 184 days and counting, allowing him to do it even from her own event in UN Headquarters. This type of go along to get along (and be able to use public money for personal travel) is killing the UN and we will not stop reporting on it. The UN refugee agency that Guterres used to run has issued an entire statement about Yumbi and inter-communal clashes there, without even mentioning that was the stated rationale to not hold voting for the residents. Some say, this is so "de-politicized" as to be, in fact, political, and pro-Kabila. Now that penholder France has belatedly set up a UN Security Council meeting for this Friday afternoon, is trying to justify the disenfranchisement in Beni and Yumbi on the agenda? Inner City Press is banned by Guterres from even entering the UN, for the 184th day. But we will cover it. Watch this site - if you can: the Kabila government turns off Internet and text messaging, and even FM radio reception. Several countries issued a statement calling for it to be restored. But will they use their positions including on the UN Security Council to address what's happening in DRC, including in Beni? So far, the Security Council hasn't met or issued any statement. Instead, on January 3, US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino issued this: "The United States stands by the millions of Congolese voters who went to the polls across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on December 30 to participate in presidential, legislative, and provincial assembly elections.  Since independence in 1960, the DRC has never experienced a peaceful, democratic transfer of power.  The December 30 election was therefore one of the most important elections in DRC history.   The United States was deeply concerned by the DRC’s National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) decision to deny accreditation to several international election observers and media representatives.  We also noted that confusion on election day over the location of polling stations, the posting of voter lists, the late delivery of some election materials, and CENI's unfortunate decision to cancel elections in Beni and Butembo in eastern DRC disenfranchised voters.  Nevertheless, despite these challenges, millions of Congolese citizens turned out peacefully across DRC on election day to cast their ballots and make their voices heard. ‎ CENI must now ensure that these voices and votes are respected.   As the Congolese people, the region, and the world await patiently for the results of these elections, the internet must be restored and the media allowed to report freely.  We strongly urge the CENI to ensure that votes are counted in a transparent and open manner, with observers present, and that the results reported by CENI are accurate and correspond to results announced at each of DRC's 75,000 polling stations.  We support the African Union Election Observation Mission to DRC’s expectation, expressed on January 2, that the announced results align with votes cast by the Congolese people.  As official results are tabulated and reported, we continue to urge DRC government officials, leaders of the DRC security forces, opposition party leaders, civil society representatives, and stakeholders from all sides to respect the law and reject violence.   There are moments in every nation’s history when individuals and political leaders step forward and do the right thing.  This is one of those moments for the DRC.  Those who enable a peaceful, democratic transfer of power out of respect for DRC’s constitution and the results of this election will be hailed, while those responsible for undermining democratic institutions and processes, threatening the peace, security, or stability of DRC or benefiting from corruption ‎will be held accountable.  Those who undermine the democratic process, threaten the peace, security or stability of the DRC, or benefit from corruption may find themselves not welcome in the United States and cut off from the U.S. financial system.    On December 30, millions of Congolese went peacefully to the polls.  Now is the time for CENI to affirm that these votes were not cast in vain by ensuring the accurate reporting of election results."  Watch this site. On December 30 people in Beni, Kasindi, Oicha and Butembo organized their own election using their own and 2011 materials, no thanks to the UN; they say they will turn the results into the CENI.  On December 31, banned Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Staphane Dujarric in writing: "December 31-2: On the DRC, what is the SG's comment and action on the disenfranchisement of 1.2 million Congolese - does he believe the CENI should accept and count the votes tallied by the disenfrancised in Beni and the other excluded cities? the PGN-ing of the EU's representative to the country? Again, confirm or deny that UN Peacekeepers pushed back protesters in Beni.

Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq, after Dujarric did not answer a single time while Haq was away - Dujarric has a conflict of interest - sent this: "Regarding question Dec. 31-2, we can say the following: The Secretary-General welcomes the holding of the polls in what was described as a relatively calm atmosphere across the Democratic Republic of the Congo yesterday.

Ahead of these historic elections, the Secretary-General had called on voters in the DRC to cast their ballots peacefully and on authorities and political leaders to work towards ensuring peaceful elections.

It is important that calm continues to prevail, as the votes are counted and results are expected."
There are reports of voting machines lacking or broken and observers blocked in
Lubero, Rutshuru, Walikale (scene of a previous UN cover up), Bunyakiri and Fizi. Also in South Kivu in Walungu, Vital Kamerhe says a police man amid accusations of elections fraud, and then was beaten to death. And the UN of Guterres? Covering its own corruption, with censorship. While Guterres avoid the issue, one of his advisers Aguinaldo Baptista re-tweets Kabila's quote. So either Team Guterres knows but just chooses to avoid, while claiming victory in South Sudan (see here), or Guterres doesn't listen to his adviser(s), like he refused to listen even to Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta about ending his disgusting censorship of Inner City Press, here. We'll have more on this. In Beni UN peacekeepers reportedly beat back a crowd protesting their own disenfranchisement - while their absentee Commander Antonio Guterres refused to answer Press questions about the DRC partial election. Now one might expect Guterres' pro-Kabila UN to gush praise of the election eve arrest of Isaac Chirambiza of Raia Mutomboki in South Kivu province, according to regional spokesman Captain Dieudonne Kasereka. Meanwhile Kabila claims it would be a “disaster” if people vote on Sunday in two large communities in the ebola outbreak zone, asserting that “a single person” could infect scores or hundreds of others. How convenient.  Inner City Press has asked the UN, without response, "December 27-3: On DRC, please confirm or deny that UN Peacekeepers pushed back protesters in Beni and state what is the SG's comment and action on the prospective disenfranchisement of more than 1 million Congolese voters this Sunday."  Now the Kabila government has retaliated against EU sanctions on his handpicked successor by giving the EU's representative Bart Ouvry 48 hours to leave the country. An EU spokesperson has now called it "completely unjustified... On the eve of very challenging elections in DRC, such a decision can only be considered counterproductive." And from Guterres, asked day after day about the DRC by Inner City Press which he banned, absolute silence. He and his lead Spokesman Stephane Dujarric have ordered a UN Associate Spokesperson Ms Keishamaza Rukikaire who actually seems to care, re-tweeting about DRC (and, for example, Bobi Wine in Uganda and China's purchase of Senegal and elsewhere, see here) not to answer any of banned Inner City Press' written questions on these or any topic. At noon on December 28 Inner City Press asked Guterres, Dujarric, Rukikaire and others, "
December 28-1: On the DRC, what is the SG's comment and action on the PGN-ing of the EU's representative to the country? Again, confirm or deny that UN Peacekeepers pushed back protesters in Beni and state what is the SG's comment and action on the prospective disenfranchisement of more than 1 million Congolese voters this Sunday." No answer - only, hours later this statement which could have and possibly was written before the Beni disenfranchisement: "As the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) prepares for presidential, legislative and provincial elections on 30 December, the Secretary-General calls on the authorities of the DRC, political leaders on all sides, the Commission électorale nationale indépendante (CENI) and civil society to continue working together to ensure an environment free of violence so that all eligible voters can cast their ballots peacefully on election day. 

The Secretary-General further encourages  citizens to seize this historic opportunity to participate in the consolidation of the country’s democratic institutions.

The Secretary-General reminds all actors that they have a critical role to play in preventing electoral violence, by refraining from any form of provocation and showing maximum restraint in their words and actions. He also calls on everyone to protect and ensure safe access to health facilities in Ebola impacted areas.

The Secretary-General reiterates the continued commitment of the United Nations to support a peaceful transition of power in the Democratic Republic of the Congo." What about the disenfranchisement... The group LUCHA has denounced it, noting that over 1 million voters would be disfranchised. But the UN of SG Antonio Guterres, who is on a murky junket stonewalling questions about his own conflicts of interest including with the China Energy Fund Committee, has not for five hours answered or responded to this question from Inner City Press: "December 26-3:  On DRC, what is the SG's comment and action on the postponement and rendering meaningless the votes in Beni and two other cities, postponed until March? How is that not outright disenfrachisement?"

The questions were emailed by banned Inner City Press, pursuant to USG Alison Smale's promise to UNSR David Kaye they would be answered, also to, among others, Amina Mohammed, Marcia Soares Pinto, Keishamaza Rukikaire, Hua Jiang (who refers to Hak-Fan Lau, Mita Hosali, Joachim Harris and Lydia Lobenthal) and Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, who refers to Arnab Roy and Eihab Omaish - as well as the Guterres' own email. No answers, including on the UN Public Financial Disclosure omissions by Guterres. Birds of a feather. The CENI has said, "“Elections lead to important movements of voters towards polling places, thus leading to concentrations of people ... raising the risk of propagation of this disease and providing the conditions for terrorist attacks.”And from Guturres, off on a junket with public costs undisclosed, has refused also to respond to questions raised by Inner City Press' exclusively report that while Guterres fraudulently omitted his role in the Gulbenkian Foundation from his UN Public Financial Disclosure, Gulbenkian in 2018 was trying to sell its Partex Oil to China Energy Fund Committee which Guterres refused to subject to any UN audit, preferring to rough up and ban Inner City Press, 175 days now. We'll have more on this - including anything on how March 2019 voting in Beni would count, and anything the UN Security Council and its French penholder says on these new frauds. French led UN Peacekeping saying the FIB to neutralize groups. But when on November 16 UN Peacekeeping chief Jean Pierre Lacroix came to the UN Press Briefing Room that UNSG Antonio Guterres has banned Inner City Press from for 175 days, he did not specify when their offensive action was decided on, nor on which Congolese Army units they were working with...


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