Bemba, what now?

Many people were surprised that, in spite of his disappointment, Jean-Pierre Bemba accepted the results. What motivated this?

Bemba is responsible. Any other attitude he could have taken in a contrary sense could have endangered the country.
His objective is not to endanger the country, his objective is to contribute to the country. He privileged the superior interests of the country. What we want is not a Congo which is on its knees like it is today, but a Congo that is standing, that has its weight in the global community. Today, Congo is the worst of all, even though it is endowed not only with human but also with natural resources. Why not make this profitable to the nation? That is Bemba’s concern … This is what determined Bemba’s decision to adopt this position, even if things did not work. ... He also belied the caricature image that everyone always stuck to him. There he respected the engagement he made in front of the people — he took up arms out of necessity; he won’t lay recourse to them for a political battle in the country. So he rehabilitated his image in public opinion and privileged the interests of the country.

Bemba said that he would announce in the coming days in what form he will guide the political opposition. What did he mean?

If you are in Kinshasa today, there are many people who are saying that they are disappointed that Bemba reacted in the weakest possible way. People were waiting for his reaction to be rigorous, muscled and even involve certain hostilities, maybe not military, but political. People are surprised by the way Bemba reacted. People had always characterised Bemba. One thought that after the results of the presidential election, Bemba could not accept the results, that he would reign in the strongest possible manner, that is that he would even lay recourse to a military solution. This was not the case. This is why he asked people to hold their breath a little while longer and he will say how the opposition will be run, in a democratic manner. So we have to wait. Let’s wait for what the government will do first, and this will also determine our attitude.

Will Bemba integrate his forces into the national army?

We must first clarify one thing, Bemba does not have armed forces. The troops that are guarding Bemba belong to the Congolese army. They are paid by the Congolese state. They are Congolese army troops affected to the guard of Jean-Pierre Bemba. Now that Bemba no longer holds an official function in this country, what will he do with the guard? ... They are from the national army, so they will return to the national army.

How will Bemba contribute to stability in the DRC?

First, since he made his declaration, this has contributed to a reduction in tensions in the country. Since the supreme court confirmed the results of the first round, there has been increased tensions in the country. On Monday, the supreme court had to make its pronouncement and the city of Kinshasa started to empty at noon. By 5pm, the hour that the supreme court was to pronounce, the city was already deserted … the same situation persisted the next day … It was not until Bemba made his declaration that there was an easing of tension. So, it is first Bemba’s engagement that contributed to this easing … It was also proof, because people did not believe Bemba, who had said that the military was not behind his party. People did not believe him, and they believed that if the supreme court did not rule in his favour, he would launch a war in Kinshasa.

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