A historic signing ceremony of the Agreement reached between the Presidential Majority, opposition political parties and the civil society in the dialogue took place in Kishasa, DRC on 18th October, 2016. The Agreement was a result of successful African Union led National Dialogue facilitated by H.E. Edem Kodjo and supported by the Support Group, comprising of the African Union, SADC, ICGLR, EU, UN Special Envoy and the International Organization of la Francophonie (IOF). The Agreement paves way for a smooth transition leading to provincial, parliamentary and presidential elections by April 2018. Depending on the availability of resources, the local elections may also be held alongside these elections, or six months after the Presidential, Parliamentary and provincial elections. The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, on behalf of the SADC Secretariat, attended the signing ceremony.
The signed Agreement allows for the creation of a transitional coalition government whereby President Kabila will continue as the President, while the opposition that participated in the Political Dialogue will assume the position of the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The presidential majority and the opposition will also see changes in the Senate. Parties to the Agreement agreed to ensure that the Voter's Register is finalized by 31st July 2017. Finalization of the Register will lead to the call for election by the end of October 2017, and the elections to be held in April 2018. A Monitoring Group has been agreed comprising of seven (7) representative from the Presidential majority, seven (7) Members from the Opposition that participated in the Dialogue, and four (4) Members from the Civil Society. The Agreement likewise enjoins the Support Group for the Facilitation of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, comprising of the UN, African Union, SADC, ICGLR, EU, and the International Organization of la Francophonie (IOF) to meet regularly to evaluate progress.
SADC congratulates the DRC and commends all stakeholders for the commitment to peace and political stability and the steps taken by the DRC leading to the signing of the Agreement. SADC thanks and commends President Kabila for inviting the various stakeholders to the National Dialogue, the political parties, civil society and religious groups that agreed to participate in the Dialogue. The facilitation of the Dialogue by H.E. Edem Kodjo, in his capacity as the facilitator appointed by the Chairperson of the AUC is also highly commendable. It was through his commitment, maturity and tolerance that the dialogue culminated in the signed Agreement. SADC pledges continued support and calls upon the government and stakeholders in the DRC and the international Community to honour and support the Agreement for sustainable peace and prosperity of the DRC. SADC urges those not taking part in the Dialogue to participate and commit to the implementation of the agreement leading to the general elections, and smooth and peaceful transition of power.