Choice in the Congo: No euphoria in Berlin

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Congo President Joseph Kabila was once considered African hopes, but that is long gone. After the electoral victory of the Opposition in the Congo, the Federal government doesn’t break out yet in Joy.

In the German-Congolese relations for years of the ice age. The last visit by a German foreign Minister has been almost four years since two years, the Federal government has said no new development aid. To the level of Anger over the increasingly authoritarian ruling President Kabila, who remained after the end of his last term in office, just based on the Power and the choice of a successor is always suspended.

Which has now taken place, but even after the announcement of the results, the Federal government remains cautious. As the only high-level government representatives, development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) said on Thursday. “We can only appeal to the incumbent President Kabila as well as the current Opposition: peace and a peaceful Transition to the new President, above all,” said Müller on the verge of a trip to Africa in front of journalists in Zambia. The Foreign office said in a statement that it will take up the results and the protests against it “note”. Other European governments were not seems to be clear: “that the announced results match with the results that could be seen here and there,” says France’s foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Banger view to Kinshasa

In spite of the demonstrative reluctance of the Federal government looks forward to the events. Choice of winner is, according to official figures of the former opposition politician Félix Tshisekedi, with around 38 percent of the vote. His closest rival, Martin Fayulu got 35 percent, President Kabila’s request, the successor to Emmanuel Shadary ended up with around 24 percent behind in 3rd place.

The then foreign Minister Steinmeier visited in 2015, as the last German Minister of the Congo

“The System Kabila has been deselected. This is extremely positive”, says Uwe Kekeritz, Africa expert of the Greens in the Bundestag, to the DW. “It is a possible beginning, and we can only hope that the situation in Congo will improve with the international, European and German support.”

Germany has long been regarded as a supporter of Kabila’s. More than 700 German soldiers secured the elections in 2006, Kabila was the winner at the end. The then Federal government gave him a bearer of hope, of the crisis-torn country to peace and democracy. This picture has changed completely, and most recently, he was seen as a corrupt autocrat.

Doubt as to the result

“I think we are all glad that Kabila’s puppet is not emerged as the winners,” says the FDP members of the Bundestag and Chairman of the parliamentary group of Central Africa, Christoph Hoffmann, in the DW-Interview. “A majority of the population no longer wanted it to go on as before.”

More than 700 German soldiers secured the 2006 elections

Euphoria in Berlin, however, no, because Thisekedis election victory by massive fraud are overshadowed by the allegations. The losers of the election Fayulu, called the results “invented and forged”, the influence of the Catholic Church reported considerable doubt. Hoffmann calls, therefore, for the Federal government, which kept their channels of communication to the Kabila government is always open to be active. “Germany has to insist that there is transparency, that the results of the election are also available for international election observers can be viewed,” says Hoffmann of the DW.

Even after the formation of a new Congolese government will engage Germany more. The foreign policy spokesman of the Left in the Bundestag, Stefan Liebich calls. “Germany and many countries on earth have economic interests in the Congo,” Liebich to the DW. Africa’s second-biggest state, is one of the most important suppliers of raw materials in the world – the example of Coltan, without which no Smartphone works. “We need to talk with the new government, which will hopefully begin work on soon-to-be, intensive discussions on the issue of corruption and we need to be interested in them either, as the important raw materials, we all need,” said Liebich.