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Insecurity prompts political crisis in South Kivu

IRIN | Published on November 16, 2007

Photo: Jane Some/IRIN
Conflict in the Kivu provinces has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians
KINSHASA, 16 November 2007 (IRIN) - Democratic Republic of Congo's war-ravaged province of South Kivu has been plunged into a political crisis after the governor rejected the provincial assembly's decision to sack him for mismanagement.

"I am not affected by this motion. I heard about it like everyone else but I have not been officially informed of the matter," CĂ©lestin Cibalonza told IRIN by phone.

Assembly members passed a motion of no-confidence against Cibalonza on 14 November, saying he had managed the province's affairs badly and had failed to tackle rampant insecurity.

A variety of armed Congolese and foreign groups are active in the province.

Under the constitution, a governor subjected to a no-confidence motion is supposed to hand his resignation to the national president within 24 hours and dissolve his provincial government.

"Since the governor refuses to bend, the dispute can only be resolved in the courts. But in the time that takes, the insecurity is likely to get worse," said Philippe Buyoya, a political scientist at Lubumbashi and Kinshasa universities.

Cibalonza's spokesman and provincial justice minister Alfred Maisha said the governor had formally called on the Supreme Court of Justice in Kinshasa and the court of appeal in Bukavu, South Kivu's capital, to throw out the no-confidence ruling. He said the assembly had given no notice of the motion's debate nor offered the governor a chance to defend himself.

Maisha told the AFP news agency that the assembly had created an "institutional crisis."


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