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DR Congo Appoints First Female Prime Minister Amid Escalating Violence

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President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) fulfilled a pivotal campaign promise by appointing Judith Suminwa Tuluka as the nation’s inaugural female prime minister. This significant milestone marks a crucial stride towards gender equality in Congolese politics.

Former planning minister Judith Suminwa Tuluka steps into her new role at a critical time for the nation, particularly in the conflict-ridden eastern region. Plagued by persistent violence and displacement, this area, abundant in minerals and resources, faces one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises.

In her inaugural address broadcasted on state television, Prime Minister Tuluka pledged to prioritize peace and development, particularly in the strife-torn eastern provinces. She expressed deep concern for those affected by ongoing violence and vowed to seek sustainable solutions to the crisis.

However, Prime Minister Tuluka’s appointment coincides with the formidable task of assembling a new government, expected to involve intricate negotiations with various political factions. Despite the challenges, her appointment signifies a breakthrough in Congolese politics, offering promise for greater inclusivity and representation.

The situation in eastern Congo remains dire, with numerous armed groups vying for control, perpetuating a cycle of instability. Efforts by both local and international peacekeepers have struggled to contain the conflict, worsening the plight of civilians.

President Tshisekedi, securing reelection for a second term, reaffirms his commitment to addressing the root causes of violence. He accuses neighboring Rwanda of supporting rebel groups in eastern Congo, an accusation denied by Rwandan authorities.

The United States calls for restraint from both Congo and Rwanda, advocating for diplomatic dialogue to prevent escalation. The U.S. State Department stresses regional cooperation and the withdrawal of foreign troops from Congolese territory.

As Prime Minister Tuluka assumes her role, she confronts the task of guiding the nation towards stability amidst daunting challenges. Her appointment marks a historic milestone, emphasizing the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in national leadership.