KINSHASA – THE European Union and United States are stepping up the pressure ahead of potential turmoil in the Democratic Republic of Congo where President Joseph Kabila must step down next Monday.
This would be the lapse of his second term as mandated by the constitution.
EU has slapped seven of Kabila’s inner circle with travel restrictions and an asset freeze after an atmosphere fraught with risk and uncertainty following the recent crackdowns and violations of fundamental rights.
These are General Célestin Kanyama, General Gabriel Amisi, Major General John Numbi Banza Tambo, Ilunga Kampete, Commander of the Republican Guard; Ferdinand Ilunga Luyoyo, Commander of the Anti-Riot Unit of the National Police; Roger Kibelisa, Chief of Internal Security of the National Intelligence Agency; and Delphin Kaimbi, Chief of Military Intelligence.
The US’ Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has meanwhile placed Évariste Boshab, Vice Prime Minister and Interior Minister, and Kalev Mutond, Director of (ANR) on its Specially Designated Nationals.
It had earlier slapped sanctions on Kanyama, Tambo and General Gabriel Amisi Kumba.
These have been cited as the worst perpetrators of violations against Kabila’s critics.
Hundreds have been killed including 50 people that died on September 19 and 20 in Kinshasa.
EU and US appealed for calm ahead of next Monday amid lack of clarity if Kabila, in power since 2001, will step down.
Elections scheduled for last month were postponed and are now scheduled for early 2018.
– CAJ News