Egypt, DRC, Catholic Church discussed on BBC World Service


A look ahead to tonight's glamour and glitz at Hollywood's Golden Globe awards will this film be a favorite to walk off with the big prizes. Cleanest, mixture ordinary passage. What I can tell even if I cop say. Darren I did not she's been struck by tragedy. Everyone leaves me. Well, we'll discuss the favorite and some of the other leading contenders to be best film during the Hollywood awards season. And with us for the rest of the program until eight thirty GMT, our guests Candace Allen, she's an American born novelist journalist and filmmaker now based in London and Paul Mellon. He's a journalist and researcher at the Africa program at Chatham house here in London more from them in a moment, but first provisional results from last Sunday's presidential election and the Democratic Republic of Congo redo to be announced later today, but indications are that not going to happen on Saturday. The head of the country's election commission said fewer than half of the tally sheets for the vote had been received. And that the results of wouldn't be announced until sometime this coming week. We're still waiting for the commission to confirm that statement. But some foreign governments and the Roman Catholic church and the DRC have criticized those remarks. Wchs. Stephanie Walters is a central Africa analyst and head of the peace and security research program at the institute for security studies in Pretoria since BBC reporters are getting mixed messages about what's happening about today's scheduled announcement of the provisional results, what is this uncertainty doing to the credibility of the vote. Well, I think we are already in an extremely tense environment. We had a week where we had different declarations from political parties. Also from observer mission we've known for some days that it was unlikely that we would see the publication of provisional results today. And of course, it's also weren't you? Remember that the internet is shut down. So all of this is happening in a climate that is already quite tense, and where the independent electoral commission lacks credibility as a result of a of a relatively poorly run electoral campaign process in two years of delay. So of course, it's no surprise really that. We will be getting the results today, but it will make matters significantly more tense earlier this week. The Roman Catholic church made an extraordinary intervention by claiming it knew who the Victor of the election was what do you make of the church's claim? The Catholic church has the largest domestic observer mission in the DRC has about forty at about forty thousand observers on the ground during the elections. And this was significant because most international observer groups that you normally see in elections were kept out. We had a handful of African Union observers and a handful of Sidanko service. So the Catholic church really does a lot of credibility in terms of where it was located in its spread across the DRC is also, of course, a significant player in civil society has been a very important voice in the last few years when the elections have been continuously delayed. I think would be what the Catholic church is trying to say is essentially, we we are watching you very closely to the independent literal commission, and to the government, and we also have our our own truth about who won this election. Of course, there's been concerns that the government may not announce the actual real outcome of this election, and that there may be cheating, and I think. The Catholic church is trying to preempt that indeed the opposition leader was was far ahead in polls throughout the campaign. How will his supporters react if he doesn't win? Is there a serious thread violence? I think that there is a very serious threat. Violently seen violence and ongoing protests in the DRC for the last three years, even during the electoral campaign, peaceful assemblies of opposition groups, we've seen the security services respond violently shooting a supporters of the opposition. There about ten people who were killed ten civilians were killed during that period. So there has been a recurrent violence in the DRC around these elections. There's a lot of tension. There's a lot of expectations. There's a lot of hope that there will be real change in the DRC as a result of this election and all of this again in a climate where the independent electoral commission, really lacks credibility and doesn't have much trust from the population. So if we do see in announcement that the the incumbent successor that is Sherry has actually won this election. That's what the senior announces. I do anticipate that there will be protests and violence in the DRC, and what about others who were observing this election. Regional representatives could could they have said or done anything more to highlight concerns about the way the elections been conducted. I think that the African Union inside anchor the to national mechanisms that were on the ground could've done a lot more ahead of the election. In terms of of expressing concern about killing the key technical issues. Notably a six million voters who didn't have corresponding biometric data who were registered about introduction of new voting technology about the political climate which was very repressive about the exclusion of some key opposition members. These are all things that those organizations could have been clear about ahead of this vote. Their preliminary reports after the election have been similar in some ways to the Catholic church and others have said that there were irregularities in terms of the the opening times that there were delays that the voting machines sometimes we're caused complications. And ultimately, we're essentially, quite quite wishy washy and didn't really say much. So I think that they certainly could have been much stronger ahead of time, and we'll have to wait and see what happens. Now, we know that the union. Can union has met with head of the observer mission in the DRC anticipate that they will be watching closely. What happens in the coming days and their voice in what they say about this will be really decisive Stephanie Walters. Egypt appears to a failed in its attempts to block the broadcast of an interview by American television network CBS with the President Abdel Fattah SEC among other things. The sixty minutes program special features, the president talking about his covert military cooperation with Israel CBS says it has refused to pull the interview and will broadcast later today. A Dula alario is an associate professor of history at Georgetown University in Qatar. I asked him what the leaders said in his interview that led to his own government's concerns. There's a question here of the fact that he's planning to multiple audiences said, so one of the revelations, of course, was Egypt's very high level military cooperation with. Israel, which I think initially perhaps that that that CC believed that this was going to be something that would endear and his regime in particular to. Western leaders and policymakers and at the same time, this is something that could kind of jeopardize some of his popularity back home. And I think as a result perhaps they wanted to walk back some of those statements, then of course, there was the other question regarding the the plight of political prisoners in Egypt. I think the number of sixty thousand was quoted in the interview. And so there there was this question of, you know, whether they're even our political prisoners, of course, something that the regime completely denies, but which is so well documented by Human Rights Watch. And so many other organizations that are keeping tabs on the very widespread repression in Egypt ever since the coup of two thousand thirteen that brought CC to power in the first place. So I think these were at least two of the major revelations that have come across so far in this interview before it even aired. He also spoke about the crackdown that was launched after he led the military's overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in two thousand thirteen. Yeah. So there there was this was the robot massacres it's become known in. This was following a six-week sit in by protesters who oppose the military coup. Of course, if you remember this was at the time when there was still the Egyptian uprising the revolution. That was being attempted to transition the country to democracy away from the thirty year dictatorship Hosni Mubarak. And of course, the military coup. Signalled an end to that process and signalled a return back to the kind of authoritarian dictatorship that Egyptians were trying to move away from and part of that crackdown involved a really violent massacre in which over a thousand options were killed at two different locations in Cairo. In the break-up of that city. And of course, as has marked this regime as being the bloodiest that Egypt's long history of authoritarianism at least in terms of a single day death toll. And of course, this is something that has been very meticulously documented and and recorded in a number of different reports. So we have one interview three big bombshells dropped in that interview. What explains it was was he simply unprepared does presidency. Have a history of saying surprising, things and interviews. Well, I think the real issue here is not so much cici's lack of media savvy as as much as it is really thinking in terms of the choice of venue because I think if we look back not that long ago just last spring, sixty minutes did a similar kind of sit down this time. It was with Hamad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and if people go back and watch that interview it was actually quite celebratory. I think to a certain extent that's possible. That CeCe was expecting similar treatment in this interview, where they would simply a celebrate, you know, whatever he he believes his achievements to be. But beyond that, I think also he's never really shown any kind of acumen in terms of dealing with the media. He doesn't have a very strong presence. And for that reason has really kind of shied away from from being very particularly public with his presidency. That was up Dula. I'll our an he's an associate professor of history of Georgetown University in Qatar palmilla. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this. Any did any of those revelations, raise your eyebrows? Well, I think the confirmation of the cooperation with Israel is probably the thing that particularly particularly for an Egyptian audience will attract most attention after anybody in Egypt, and particularly those people who politically interested will be well aware, whatever their point of view, this is an authoritarian regime, so even if the figure of the number of political prisoners that's alleged gets a bit more airing that wehrley won't be perhaps taking things forward. But the confirmation that Egypt is actively strongly cooperating with Israel, and it's not just doing the minimum service for two countries that have shared frontier and recognize each other. But it's actively cooperating with these rarely government that that will make make quite an impact, and may also have some sort of wider resonance in the Arab world in terms of perceptions of how one how one relates the Israelis. But of course, as with all. These things in today's media environment. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. Once he said it in the interview, then any attempt to get her grand pool will simply give massively more publicity to to a program that actually probably many people might not have noticed was going to be broadcast. Absolutely. I it is fascinating to hear how this came about the interview took place and apparently shortly after the authorities made the request to CBS interview be pulled. I frankly, it's no surprise that. The CBS has said, no, so far, they're they're really pushing ahead with the broadcast will they they wouldn't have had much choice, especially if when you think of Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Crown prince if he was given a a rather gentle ride a few months ago, then given all the controversy over Saudi policy much more recently CBS may have felt well we we can't ever be accused of being too gentle ought to lacking. In questioning we have to be seen to be very rigorous. Absolutely. What you are listening to the BBC World Service. It's eighteen minutes past the hour..

Coming up next