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DRC: Tshisekedi withdraws bid for UNSC seat in favour of Gabon

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Tuesday, 8 June 2021 19:11

DRC’s President Félix Tshisekedi on 13 January 2021, during a meeting of the AU’s Assembly of Heads of State and Government. DR / DRC Presidency

After running for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, the DRC has decided to withdraw in favour of Gabon.

According to our information, DRC’s President Félix Tshisekedi has decided to retract his bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council – a seat reserved for Central Africa from 2022. Several official and diplomatic sources have confirmed the Congolese president’s decision to withdraw from the race.

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“The current chair of the AU [African Union] cannot flout the rules of the organisation,” says one of the head of state’s close associates, who referred to the decision as an act of “good diplomacy.” The vote is due to take place on 11 June in New York and the DRC was – until now – to compete with Gabon.

During the executive council meeting that was held on 3 and 4 February, the AU officially supported Libreville’s application. However, the DRC – which had submitted its application in 2019 – decided to relaunch its bid, on grounds that granting approval for the reserved seat should be subject to prior consultation with Chad and Gabon.

The Congolese delegation, which was due to leave for New York at the beginning of this week, has decided to cancel its trip.

Since N’Djamena had decided to throw in the towel, Kinshasa felt that discussions should continue with Libreville, despite the decision of the AU, an organisation chaired by Tshisekedi.

According to our sources, the dispute between the DRC (which also chairs the selection committee) and Gabon was at the heart of the tête-à-tête between Moussa Faki Mahamat and Tshisekedi in Kinshasa on 5 June.

This was the day after the extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on the situation in Chad. During their conversation, the AU Commission chairperson argued for the DRC’s withdrawal.

As a result, the Congolese delegation, which was due to leave for New York at the beginning of this week, has decided to cancel its trip.

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