On March 14, 2018, DRC Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala confirmed elections would occur in
December 2018, and current President Kabila would not be running, in order to introduce a free
and fair electoral process. However, President Kabila is set to name a successor candidate in July
2018. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has been chosen to lead a pilot project to assist in the
prevention and mitigation of further destructive conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC). The pilot project has been titled the Canadian Supplementary Stabilization Mission in the
DRC (CSSM) and is designed to help facilitate the next free and fair elections in the DRC. GAC
is committed to work with various partner organizations (i.e., CANADEM) and local actors (i.e.,
the Catholic Church) to facilitate track-two mediation with relevant stakeholders through CSSM.
CSSM will support a democratic transition of power while leveraging the United Nations
Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to
reduce the likelihood and incidence of political violence in the country.

The pre-project risk assessment has identified favorable conditions in the DRC for CSSM, including existing security and humanitarian support. Indeed, according to the DRC diagnostic, the best-case scenario
conditions are largely currently in place, with the Kabila government signaling interest in
promoting a fair democratic process. However, there are certain obstacles potentially preventing
aspects of CSSM’s success, including the presence of armed insurgents and the polarization of
political parties. This presents the need and opportunity for the democratic facilitation gap to be
filled by CSSM. Foreseeable operational limitations include the retraction of funding for the
elections’ process from key international partners such as the European Union and the escalation
of political violence during the elections. Perceived impacts of CSSM have been divided into
immediate impacts such as increased voter participation and the completion of the DRC’s electoral
cycle. First and foremost, CSSM’s long-term goal— and predicted impact— will be to increase
the overall level of democratization in the DRC, which has been historically low and is considered
a very high-risk conflict indicator. Other long-term results include future sustainable free and fair
elections in the DRC and increased female political participation.

Read More