Joseph-KabilaClosing his visit to Beni, in the province of North Kivu, President Kabila on 7 August held a meeting with the youth, the civil society, the traditional chiefs, women’s associations and religious leaders, thrashing out elections and the insecurity prevailing in the region.

According to North Kivu province, Julien Paluku, Kabila thanked Beni’s population for their support to the Congolese army in hunting down Uganda ADF rebels.

In his discussions with the youth, Kabila told them “the renewal of the DRC political class is imperative,” urging them to massively participate in the coming elections.

Speaking in laudatory terms of being part of the generation that “brought democracy to the DRC”, Kabila stressed the old generation of politicians with fifty years of active politics under their belt “should definitively be side-lined”. He accused that generation of inciting the youth to boycott the democratisation process in the country which Kabila termed “irreversible”.  He noted “being part of the opposition is not a sin” but lamented that boycotting the democratic process was amongst “un-patriotic acts that pose a threat to the nation’s existence”.

Kabila also held talks with the civil society in Beni addressing the tense security situation in region fuelled by the ADF Ugandan rebels. In response, Pastor Gilbert Kambale Kamate, president of Beni civil society, said “We urged the President to do his utmost to end insecurity,” adding that “promises alone will not be enough. The situation will take concrete actions”.

In power since 2001, Kabila is under pressure from the domestic opposition and part of the international community who accuse him of eying to extend his tenure beyond 2016.

More than 1,100 people have been killed in Beni over the past two years due to insecurity caused by ADF rebels.