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Kinshasa faced with several withdrawals from the Games of La Francophonie

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Kinshasa faced with several withdrawals from the Games of La Francophonie

The city of Kinshasa on Tuesday waved the cards of “diplomacy” and “solidarity” in the face of the decisions of certain governments not to participate or to reduce their participation in the Games of La Francophonie scheduled for July 28 to August 6 in the capital. of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Quebec will not come

Some 3,000 young athletes and artists from some forty countries are expected for these Games, which combine sporting and cultural events. The final list of participants has not yet been published, but several delegations are already announced to be reduced.

According to information collected by AFP from the governments or federations concerned, Quebec has for example decided not to send to Kinshasa either athletes or artists, “for reasons of safety and health“. The Wallonia-Brussels Federation, for its part, will participate in cultural events but “not in sports competitions”, considering that the infrastructures do not guarantee its “athletes sufficient conditions for the practice of their sports”.

French athletics and cycling absent

Also believing that the organization does not offer “optimal” conditions for participation, the French Athletics Federation has decided not to take part in the competition. Same thing for the French cycling federation, “for safety and health reasons”.

“We think this is a big meeting and that all French-speaking countries should respond to it,” said Patrick Muyaya, Minister of Communication and spokesman for the DRC government, on Tuesday. Like the organizing committee, the minister affirmed that all measures were taken to ensure “quality games” and guarantee optimal security conditions, deploring the “rumors” aimed, according to him, at “sending a negative message”.

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Susceptibility against France

With “the different countries making the decisions in relation to their respective realities, there is diplomatic work that will be done, added. Muyaya. But we believe, for example, that as far as France is concerned […], there needs to be clear and strong participation. ” Not only is France ” the first French-speaking country “, but there is also in Congolese opinion ” a lot of susceptibility ” towards it, he estimated.

The Congolese notably reproach Paris for supposed support for Rwanda which, while denying it, is accused of supporting a rebel movement in eastern DRC. Even if participation in the Games “is a question related to sport, it will be scrutinized particularly”, declared Patrick Muyaya.

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