The problem with Cyril Ramaphosa’s friendly visit to Kinshasa | DR Congo

On August 10, 2018, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa met with his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa in his capacity as the current chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). This “working visit” came soon after Kabila had declared that he would not be seeking a third, divisive and plainly unconstitutional mandate in long-delayed elections scheduled for December.

As has become the norm in African diplomacy, the meeting seemingly made no tangible progress on the democratic front and yielded little else but a polite joint communique and the obligatory officious photograph such get-togethers customarily produce. In fact, Kabila emerged smiling and relatively unscathed from his encounter with one of Africa’s most powerful leaders, and that was quite an…

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