Release of the DRC election results imminent, be prepared to stand fast in secure location.
Local reports indicate that the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) could release the result of the Presidential election tomorrow (9 January). Reports are not confirmed however all travellers in country should minimise movement outside secure premises due to the risk of widespread unrest and associated violence.
The election period has been marred by allegations of fraud and corruption. If the release of results are not consistent with other election observation bodies, notably the Catholic Church’s election monitors, Solace Global anticipate a wave of unrest throughout the country leading to widespread violence between opposition supporters and security forces.
Continue to defer all inbound travel to the the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the present time. For travel risk managers with staff currently in country ensure that you have up to date and realistic evacuation plans in place that can be activated quickly in the event there is a severe deterioration in the security environment. Multiple communication means should be established with staff and all movement should be logged with head office.
Staff in country should be aware of these plans and understand their responsibilities in the event that an evacuation is required.
- Continue to defer all inbound travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Review your evacuation plans ensuring they are up to date, realistic and can be implemented at short notice. Consider how you can rapidly group all staff in a central location especially if they are working in remote locations.
- Check all communication strategies (multiple communication means will be required) and ensure you have the capability to quickly locate staff on the ground. Consider that internet and telephone networks are likely to be disabled following the release of result.
- Speak with staff on the ground to make sure you have the most up to date information on their situation and to confirm they understand and are confident with their responsibilities if there is a rapid deterioration in the security environment.