Felix Tshisekedi, after being sworn-in Thursday afternoon as the 5th President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), spoke of “celebrating with all compatriots this moment that consecrates a reconciled DR Congo" in his inaugural address.
“This Thursday January 24, 2019 is a historic day. It is a day dreamt of by all the actors who brought our beautiful country to nobility, while awakening our consciences. A great day for our common will to cross the shores of our destiny together,” President Tshisekedi declared in his speech at the Palais de la Nation in Kinshasa, in the presence of his predecessor Joseph Kabila.
"We do not celebrate the victory of one camp against another; we hail a reconciled Congo," added DRC’s new head of state, son of Etienne Tshisekedi, the late veteran DRC opposition leader who died almost two years ago in Belgium.
Now "the Democratic Republic of Congo we are forming will not be a divided Congo, neither one of hatred or tribalism.
“We want to build a strong Congo in its cultural diversity and its attachment to the motherland. A Congo turned towards its development in peace and security. A Congo in which everyone finds their rightful place,” he continued, in the presence of his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, the only head of state seen at the official stand with several other officials who showed up to represent their countries .
Tshisékédi praised his predecessor, President Joseph Kabila Kabangue, who "with the utmost respect for the Republican transition was one of the actors of the democratic and peaceful transition".
President Tshisekedi also commended "the various actors, present or past" who contributed to this democratic development, and paid tribute to his predecessors President Joseph Kasa-Vubu (1960 - 1965), Prime Minister Patrice Emeri Lumumba (June 1960 - September 1960) – who declared that “for the dignity of Africa, I accept death”, President Mobutu (1965 - 1997) who was "committed to the unity of the Congolese people and the assertion of our identity" and finally President Laurent Désiré Kabila (1997 - 2001) who was "particularly attached to the ideology of never to betray the Congo".
"For these architects of our sovereignty, the nobility of their struggle will remain forever in our collective national consciousness."
Tshisekedi in his inaugural address expressed his "deep respect and sincere admiration" for Martin Fayulu, who came second in the December 30 presidential election, according to the results released by the country’s elections commission, CENI.
Tshisekedi described himself as a “soldier of the people; an icon for the vitality of our democracy”.