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Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi. Picture: BLOOMBERG.
Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi. Picture: BLOOMBERG.

Kinshasa — The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had appointed a new government, spokesperson Tina Salama said on Wednesday, ending an impasse that has mired the country in political uncertainty for months.

President Felix Tshisekedi won a second term after elections in late 2023, which also handed his Sacred Union coalition a large majority in parliament. But internal jostling for jobs has delayed the formation of a new cabinet of ministers.

The president eventually named Judith Suminwa as the first female prime minister on April 1 and his former chief of staff, Vital Kamerhe, as parliamentary speaker on May 22, paving the way for the appointment of the government.

The new cabinet has 54 ministers versus 57 in the last government — a smaller-than-expected downsizing in the face of pressure to reduce costs.

In an announcement on state broadcaster RTNC, Salama said Guy Kabombo Muadiamvita had been appointed defence minister, a key role given DRC’s costly two-year conflict with the M23 rebel group in eastern territories. Muadiamvita, a lawyer by training, was previously head of the country’s official gazette, the journal of record for legal acts.

Doudou Fwamba Likunde was named finance minister and Kizito Pakabomba was appointed to oversee the mines ministry and DRC’s globally significant reserves of coltan, copper and other minerals.

Referring to the delay in forming a government, the president’s communications director, Erik Nyindu, said it took time for the parties in the ruling coalition to find a compromise. “Better that than a country full of conflict,” he said on RTNC.

Tshisekedi formed his first government when he was elected in 2019. It was a coalition with his predecessor, Joseph Kabila, but it broke up in 2021. Tshisekedi then formed another coalition. Sacred Union holds about 95% of the National Assembly seats.

Reuters

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