DRC appoints first female prime minister

Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi has appointed Judith Suminwa Tuluka as the first female prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He announced this during a televised speech on Monday evening.

Tuluka, who was the minister of planning until her appointment, succeeds Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, who resigned in February. This announcement ends three months of uncertainty and difficult government negotiations following elections in December 2023.

During the announcement of her position, Tuluka said she would work towards peace and development, especially in the eastern provinces, which have been plagued by violence from various rebel groups, most notably M23. The displacement of millions of civilians has led to one of the world's most daunting humanitarian crises.

Tshisekedi, who secured reelection for a second term last December, restated his commitment to handling the root causes of the violence, accusing neighbouring Rwanda of funding rebel groups.

At the beginning of March, Belgian foreign minister Hadja Lahbib condemned the violence in the east of the DRC and called on Rwanda to withdraw its troops from Congolese territory and stop supporting M23. The EU also urged the DRC to terminate all support to the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda, a predominantly Hutu group founded by former leaders of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Judith Tuluka Suminwa and President Felix Tshisekedi. Photo ©XINHUA

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