Saturday, October 24th, 3:00pm
Congo in Harlem 7
Presented by Friends of the Congo and True-Walker Productions
Special Panel Discussion: Exploring Prospects for Peaceful Political Change in Congo
The dominant issue that has consumed the Congolese social and political landscape is the fate of President Joseph Kabila. According to the constitution, Joseph Kabila must step down in December 2016 when the second of his constitutionally mandated two five-year terms will come to an end.Unfortunately, President Kabila and his supporters have pursued diverse tactics to remain in power beyond December 2016. As a result, the political climate has become increasingly tense and unstable. A broad cross-section of domestic and international entites have called on President Kabila to respect Congo's constitution, organize presidential elections and leave power peacefully in 2016. At the forefront of those challenging the President and his supporters are Congolese youth who are demanding change in the country. In January 2015, the youth rose up against one of President Kabila's maneuvers to cement his hold on power beyond 2016. The uprising, dubbed Telema (“rise up” in Lingala), resulted in at least 42 dead at the hands of Kabila's security forces, dozens injured and hundreds arrested.The political situation remains unstable and precarious. Panelists will explore the current political climate and prospects for the Congolese population mobilizing to assure that President Kabila respects the country's constitution and step down in 2016.
This presentation is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.