DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – The Trump administration on Friday hit senior Congolese officials with travel bans for their involvement in pollution and human rights abuse around the December elections.
The State Department said that the officers included the president of the National Assembly of the country, the head of his constitutional court and three senior members of the national election commission. He said that a number of other electoral, military and other unofficially elected officers would also be subject to penalties. They and members of their direct families will eliminate any U.S. visas. which already exist or will not qualify for future visas.
The State Department stated that the action was being taken because the United States had credible information that those targeted were involved in significant corruption, gross human rights offenses or undermining the democratic process in the Congo.
"These individuals have enriched themselves by corruption, or directed or oversaw violence against people exercising their rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression," said the statement. "They were operating with impunity at the expense of the Congo people and they show a clear disregard about democratic principles and human rights."
The United States said he was standing with Congo people following a transfer of historical power. "However, there are genuine concerns about the conduct and transparency of the electoral process," he said in a statement.
In particular, he was nominated as president of the electoral commission Corneille Nangaa, vice president of CENI Norbert Basengezi Katintima and consultant of the election commission, president Marcellin Mukolo Basengezi as election officers. Aubin Minaku Ndjalandjoko, Presiding Officer of the DRC National Assembly, and Benoit Lwamba Bindu, President of the Congo Constitutional Court.
The United States also stressed its commitment to working with the new government of Congo to "finish corruption and strengthen democracy and accountability, and respect for human rights."
The leader of the opposition, Felix Tshisekedi, winner of the 30th election winner, led Congo for his peaceful transfer of first-time power since the independence of Belgium almost 60 years ago.
Tshisekedi succeeds Joseph Kabila, the governor who governs a central African country with rich minerals but mainly minerals for 18 years before stepping down under pressure.
However, Martin Fayulu, re-stated, attacked a challenge in the court to win Tshisekedi, claiming that a broad rigid made it difficult, and was rejected by the Constitutional Court despite data # 39; to leak by the electoral commission showing it has earned it easy.
The United States and others, including many Congolese, had received the results in favor of stability.
Diplomatic Secretary AP, Matthew Lee, in Washington contributed to this report.