US sanctions top DR Congo officials for suppressing opposition

December 12, 2016 8:19 pm
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Evariste Boshab is one of the senior Congolese officials being targetted by the US sanctions © AFP/File

, Washington, United States, Dec 12 – The US government on Monday sanctioned two senior Democratic Republic of Congo officials for human rights violations and targeting the opposition in the resource-rich African nation, a week before the president’s mandate is set to end.

The US Treasury announced it was targeting Deputy Prime Minister Evariste Boshab, also the nation’s interior and security minister, and Kalev Mutondo, head of the national intelligence agency, for actions to “undermine democratic processes.”

The sanctions freeze any US assets held by the two officials and prohibit any American citizen or company from doing any business with them.

“The Congolese government continues to undermine democratic processes in the DRC and repress the political rights and freedoms of the Congolese people, putting the long-term stability and prosperity of the country at risk,” Adam Szubin, acting Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

He said the sanctions are “intended to alter the behavior of the targeted individuals.”

The sanctions follow similar action earlier Monday by the European Union, which targeted seven security officials.

President Joseph Kabila’s term ends on December 19, and he is not eligible to run again, but he has shown no signs of budging.

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