Pittella: Youth movements are key to democratic development in Africa

The President of the S&D Group met yesterday with representatives of Filimbi, a platform to encourage young people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to enjoy their democratic rights peacefully and responsibly.
In July, the European Parliament adopted, following the initiative of the S&D Group, a Resolution calling for the immediate release of Filimbi activists Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala and the guarantee that all DRC citizens can fully exercise their fundamental freedoms of association and expression.
Gianni Pittella, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:
"We call on the European Commission to react to our Resolution and to use all appropriate tools to ensure that a peaceful solution is reached in the case of the illegally and arbitrarily detained activists. We must ensure that human rights defenders receive the necessary support, for example by leading a bilateral human rights strategy.
"We also ask the Government of DRC, who we met earlier this year during our visit to the country, to ensure that the freedoms of association and expression are fully guaranteed. This is essential in a pre-electoral context and in respect of the constitutional electoral rules. We deplore the violence that erupted yesterday in Kinshasa during a peaceful rally of opposition movements.
"We reiterate our full support to pro-democracy movements and will organise a roundtable of African youth movements during our Africa Week (30 November-3 December)."