The United States (US) has announced a visa ban on several senior Congolese officials and their family members for their involvement in the long-delayed presidential elections. The US State Department officially states that this is due to their involvement in “significant corruption” related to Congo’s electoral process.
The US makes it clear that credible, transparent and timely elections in December are essential for ensuring a more peaceful and prosperous future for the DRC and the region. With the opposition unilaterally agreeing with this sentiment, concerns still remain.
The current president Joseph Kabila has been in power since 2001, when he succeeded his father who was murdered, and was reelected in 2006 and 2011. The 2016 elections have been pushed back twice, but the regime had declared that it does want to ensure a peaceful transition in the December 23 2018 election.
The State Department further stated: “Today’s actions send a strong signal that the US government is committed to fighting corruption, to supporting credible elections that lead to DRC’s first peaceful and democratic transfer of power, and to holding accountable those who are responsible for significant corruption or serious violations of human rights.”