A key development in Marie-Therese Nlandu’s politics and which spurned on her own party’s development was the Lusaka peace accord which took place in July 1999, This was a ground breaking development in the politics as it set the agenda to end the fighting between Bemba. RCD-Goma and Kabila and other armed factions. With her mission for peace, she wanted to give effect to the Lusaka accord as the very real difficulty the political process faced was that the armed factions including Kabila were not really committed to peace.
Before her first meeting with Mr Bemba, Marie-Therese Nlandu had met with the former President of Benin called Mr Kereku to ask him to help work for peace in Congo. President Kereku was then in contact with President Eyaderna of’ Togo who at that time was Head of the African Union and Marie-Therese Nlandu spoke with President Eyadema to ask him to help gain peace in Congo and to call the French speaking Presidents to involve themselves in the peace process. She then went to Centrafrica Republic and met with President Patasse and also sought his involvement in the dialogue for peace.
From this point onwards she has had many more meetings with Jean Pierre Bemba, however she never supported or joined his party the MLC.
As a group established to work for peace, it was felt by all those involved in the movement that there was a need to transform this movement into a political party. The decision was taken to name the party Congo Pax as Pax means Peace in Latin and this was the aim of the party.
The party was founded in 15 August 2004 with 42 people who supported the movement. In order to gain supporters and to raise awareness and to canvass for the party.
The party was registered on 4 March 2006,
Our party is Motto is: Peace, Freedom, and Work. The beliefs of the party can be summed up as follows: we believe in a peace for our people, that is not only about ending violence but more fundamental and about the peaceful change towards a better quality of life. Post the conflict there is a real desperate need for a rehabilitation of our people who have been seriously traumatized by decades of violence and we need to work to restore social harmony and values and human dignity for everyone.
At its zenith in 2006, Congo Pax had about 40,000 members. The secretary general was Pascal Kamufwenkete.
After the first round of results were published, all of the opposition parties formed a group called “Union pour la Nation”, which was led by Jean-Pierre Bemba. It was clear that the president was not going to tolerate any form of opposition and Marie-Therese Nlandu was invited to become a lawyer for Jean-Pierre Bemba, the main challenger in the elections.
The Congo PAX meetings in the UK usually take place in Durham Road in North London. We have more meetings when there are particular crises in the Congo which require intensive discussions. We have been part of an alliance called “Congo Legitime en Defense (ULD)”. The alliance includes also Alternative Politique.
We are unable to determine at this point how many Congo Pax members there are in the UK because it has not been long since we started to issue membership cards, However when we hold large meetings, we attract up to 300 people. It has taken some time to produce these cards because each card has its own reference number so that we can keep a good register of our members and prevent any forgeries.
It approximates that there are about 1000 members in London. There are also members in Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham. There are also many members whom we keep in contact with in Europe, America.