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US MOVES TO IMPOSE FRESH SANCTIONS ON DRC …Washington to Squeeze Kabila Out of Power

The Trump administration is ready to impose further sanctions against the regime of Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila to dissuade him from trying to hold on to power, according to several people briefed on the matter.

Mr Kabila is constitutionally obliged to step down in the vast mineral-rich African country after two terms in office, but he has not ruled out seeking re-election this year despite repeated appeals from the US, France and Britain. Speculation is rife that he will put his name on the ballot this week.

“The US is trying to convince Kabila to go between now and August 8,” said one of the people briefed, referring to the deadline for politicians to declare their candidacy for the presidency. “They’re trying to squeeze his family and his finances.”

A US government source said Washington was prepared to sanction other allies of Mr Kabila if he did not abide by his commitments. “Clearly that means having a process whereby Kabila is not a candidate,” said the person. “His name should not be on the ballot.”

Mr Kabila, 47, took over as president in 2001 after his father Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated during a civil war. Despite its mineral riches, which include diamonds, copper and gold, the country ranks among Africa’s poorest.

In his confirmation hearings to the Senate this week, Michael Hammer, President Donald Trump’s pick for US ambassador to Congo, said many of its minerals, which also include uranium and the world’s largest reserves of cobalt, an essential input for mobile phones, “are critical to US industry”.

The Trump administration has cumulatively increased the severity and range of its sanctions against Mr Kabila. In June 2017 the US Treasury imposed sanctions on one of Mr Kabila’s most senior military officials. In December, the same department imposed sanctions on Dan Gertler, an Israeli businessman and close friend of the president.

In June, at least one family member of Mr Kabila was targeted by a state department visa ban, three people briefed on the matter told the Financial Times.

The people said at least three more family members were under consideration for stronger Treasury designated sanctions that would include asset freezes under the Global Magnitsky Act, which targets corruption and human rights abuses.

The focus on Mr Kabila’s family has infuriated the president, two of the people said, adding that the Congolese government officials regularly bring up US sanctions with Washington. But a senior administration official told the FT the Trump administration was prepared to apply sanctions to anyone “regardless of who they are”.

“[We] stand ready to apply sanctions to individuals or entities, regardless of who they are, who undermine the democratic process, or threaten the peace and security of the country,” said the senior administration official, adding the Trump administration was closely following Congo’s electoral preparations.

Peter Pham, Africa director at the Atlantic Council, said US interests in Congo went far beyond electoral and humanitarian concerns, arguing that access to its mineral deposits were “critical to the technologies which will power this century”. He said Washington would have wide support to take further action should it see “a worrisome trajectory” during the election candidacy process.

Most recently, Mr Kabila has refused to meet Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, as well as UN secretary-general António Guterres and the head of the African Union. He has also refused international money and technical assistance for the polls.

Some analysts in Washington and Kinshasa suspect Mr Kabila may ask the country’s constitutional court to rule that, despite 17 years as president, he has legally served only one term and so would be eligible for another.

Sasha Lezhnev at Washington-based advocacy group, The Enough Project, said that the US needed to go further still. “The administration has taken some important initial steps but a lot more is needed frankly to really impact Kabila’s calculations,” he said.

Meanwhile, leading opposition leader Moise Katumbi has been blocked from entering the country to file his nomination for the presidential bid.

Katumbi has tried to return to Congo after two years in exile but both attempts by road or air have flopped.

First Katumbi was denied landing rights in Lubumbashi and was later blocked from using Kasumbalesa border post where he travelled by road through on Friday and Saturday.

SOURCE: FINANCIAL TIMES

30 Comments

  1. Madonsela

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    • kufahakurambwe

      @ Madonsela you have left me wondering what exactly prompted you to write this nonsense on this platform! What does your personal life have to do with the topic at hand? You are without a shadow of a doubt an IDIOT.

    • Chatile Mwibolo

      Wabe bolo chatile. Dont bring your nonsense to an otherwise serious matter. Wabe chipato.

  2. Mochias.com

    Madonsela,u ar very far from the topic.Do u thnk ths media is about testimonies or adverts?Iwe
    the topic is,” washngton 2 squeez kabila”,not yo “Sir petr bringing back yo fiance,”WASOBA?(ar u lost?)

  3. Ronald Chinyemba Chinyemba

    I’m in need of your help Sir Peter. Nothing seems to be working for me. My line are as bellow:
    0963-955486/0973-329650
    Code:026
    I’m also on Facebook 0973-329650

    • Kufahakurambwe

      I’m now almost certain its ‘in’ the water. The high numbers of stupidity ya yachilamo mu Zambia.

  4. Shaka

    Wrong forum for brother Ronald, I think it is misleading publication.

    • kufahakurambwe

      What is misleading about this ‘US MOVES TO IMPOSE FRESH SANCTIONS ON DRC …Washington to Squeeze Kabila Out of Power.’ Is the stupidity in the water you are drinking!

  5. Shaka

    African leaders should learn from the DRC ,they don’t ascend to power forever. One day they will have to descend.

  6. Starboy

    I always wished for this to happen to Kabila even if he dies coz he is very selfish, this should save as a lesson to other African leaders who turn down the economy of the country, just imagine the mineral rich country being rated the poorest. Even if we cannot judge you, God one day will deal with you

  7. Kangwa Gabriel C Jr

    His down fall is coming very soon.You cant fight change. They say ,if you dont want to change,change will change you.

  8. Uncle Bizzo

    Modonsela , this is not the right space to advertise your business, this about what the US wants to do to Dictator Kabila

  9. Chipe

    Some people can’t learn from history. Kabila can’t you learn from Mobutu.Do you want the same to happen to you? I
    I believe thisan is going nowhere, is aiming to fall.
    Aftican leaders where are you, you who are Democratic? Do something pliz

  10. suplex city

    Kabila too dull.

  11. Denismwiimga

    Go UN

  12. Chibwe Max Mumba

    why does the us want to rule us let them mind ther own bizness

    • Juwawo

      Visit congo thats when you can say help congolese pls, you enjoying peace while others are denied the rights to be in thier own country , God will judge kabila

    • Obed mumba

      Because Africans have failed to rule themselves they are hypocrite greedy love of power etc.

  13. mbaya mukinda

    Mr kabila,i think you are very far from education but the trueth of the mater is, your selfishess is going to kill you! you want to hold on to something which you never manage.mr kabila understand the situation,give chance to people who will change the country,you dont derseve to be a president anymor..

  14. Mr Peace

    What a shame!!!!Such a young man like Kabila to be so heartless.How many asylum seekers are out there because of this son of a bitch?Surely,clinging to power till people die and others are displaced as though there is a natural disaster? AU,are you there?I think AU is a very good example of a white elephant and the real meaning of AU is Africa Uselessness.This organisation is very meaningless.US is the one doing the functions of this rotten group.Surely,how can one idiot be so unruly?

  15. Kasongo M

    People in DRC are suffering. Regional bodies in Africa are toothless.

  16. Ironman

    I think its lack of better thing to do why africa presidents cling to power like a baby to a breast…patriachal kind of ruling must go with ancient kings & chiefs…

  17. CHARLES DAKA PA ZED

    You ba A.U stop being dull and wakeup,don’t be sleeping cows when you accumulate so much money as yous monthly incomes.and you are there seated watching that small blat destroy that mineral rich country,people suffering like stray dogs,running away from their own country like bees.please ba donald trump,ba UN help this country God will bless times 100.and you kabila allow katumbi to enter into the country and nominate as a candidate,what are you in fear of?after you are a poor thinking man.mind you afterall your fellow ediot so called your late father was assassinated with you you deserve to be hanged.go trump go u.n we are behind you.

  18. Colonialist

    So what is DEMOCRATIC About Demo. Rep. Of Congo. For the leaders behave like their colonialists. Brutal, selfish and basically wearing their shoes. Is this the emansipation people sought? Comment

  19. Nkonkosheni

    This kabila is stupid ,So u mean u wht 2 die like yo farther. Trump do something.

  20. Razor

    What about other leaders who want to cling on to power like museveni of Uganda, that guy from Burundi and our very own chagwa who wants to go for a third term.

  21. Jms

    Follow madonsela he has a very fun story but think twice it concerns some leaders who will regret and some leaders who have to appreciation like katumbi and the others and many more

  22. wenger

    enough iz enough go ahead us

  23. Kalawa

    Kabila your days are numbered

  24. Leonard

    God will forgive you if only you let Katumbi come in DRC.

Comments are closed.