Congo Appoints New Cabinet With No Changes to Key Ministriesby
Head of finance, mines, oil, foreign affairs all retain posts
New premier for power-sharing government appointed in April
The Democratic Republic of Congo announced the appointment of a new government under Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala that left many key ministerial posts unchanged.
The ministers of finance, mines, oil, justice, interior and foreign affairs all retained their posts in the new administration, according to a statement read on national television Tuesday in the capital, Kinshasa.
Congolese President Joseph Kabila last month named Tshibala, who was expelled in March from the largest opposition party, to head a new power-sharing government. Tshibala’s appointment followed a December deal intended to allow ruling and opposition parties to participate in government until delayed elections can be held.
The agreement has largely disintegrated after opposition leaders clashed with Kabila over the selection of a new premier and then rejected his unilateral nomination of Tshibala. While Congo has changed its cabinet twice in the past six months in attempts to bring opposition leaders into government, Kabila’s ruling party has maintained control of the most important parts of the administration.
In both shakeups, the ministers of finance, oil, mines and justice retained their posts. In December, Kabila changed ministers of interior and foreign affairs but appointed ruling party members.
Minister of Mines Martin Kabwelulu, in the post since 2007, is now the country’s longest serving minister. Mining and oil production represent more than 95 percent of export earnings for Congo, which is Africa’s biggest copper producer and the world’s largest source of cobalt.