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I will never persecute my political enemies, Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi declares in Washington D.C. Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 26, 2021


Congo’s new President Felix Tshisekedi declared on Saturday that he will never persecute his political adversaries, including his main challenger, Martin Madidi Fayulu, whose coalition of opposition parties claimed victory in the December 2018 presidential election.

President Tshisekedi was speaking at a press conference at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington D.C. at the completion of his first official trip to the United States since he replaced President Joseph Kabila in late January.

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Democratic Republic of Congo’s President, Felix Tshisekedi, meets with members of the press at The Willard interContinental Hotel in Washington DC on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Photo: EMMANUEL IKODOR, TODAY NEWS AFRICA

He promised that he will be the President of all Congolese, including those who did not vote for him.

Rather than go after his political enemies or return to Mr Kabila’s brutal dictatorial tactics, he said, he will respect the rule of law and build strong institutions to sustain democracy in one of Africa’s largest countries.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President, Felix Tshisekedi, meets with members of the press at The Willard interContinental Hotel in Washington DC on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Photo: EMMANUEL IKODOR, TODAY NEWS AFRICA

President Tshisekedi said he will also attack all the processes, laws and tactics that for decades stole the dignity of Congolese people.

According to him, pursuing those goals would be more rewarding to the Congolese than wasting time going after those who oppose him or after Mr Kabila who was in power for 18 years.

President Tshisekedi admitted that he has a deal with Mr Kabila’s party because he did not secure an outright majority at the election.

He said that deal was necessary to move Congo forward.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President, Felix Tshisekedi, meets with members of the press at The Willard interContinental Hotel in Washington DC on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Photo: EMMANUEL IKODOR, TODAY NEWS AFRICA

He said he was not ready to go after Kabila or his administration to prove that he was in charge, adding that he does not have any personal problem with anyone.

Mr Tshisekedi said he was open to dialogue but only if Mr Fayulu was ready to sit around a table and talk.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President, Felix Tshisekedi, meets with members of the press at The Willard interContinental Hotel in Washington DC on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Photo: EMMANUEL IKODOR, TODAY NEWS AFRICA

He described his contestation of the election as without evidence, and said he was free to do whatever he wanted except tribalistic rhetoric that could incite the people to commit violence.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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