DRC edging closer to another Burundi
From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE escalating tensions in the Democratic Republic of Congo have raised fears the country could be plunged into deadly mayhem as witnessed in Burundi.
The charges against prominent politician, Moise Katumbi, who has emerged as the greatest threat to President Kabila’s continued stay in power, have raised such fears.
United Kingdom Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Danae Dholakia, has expressed such concerns at the conclusion of her tour of the troubled central African country.
She said the political space continued to close, and she heard particular concern about recent political repression in the former Katanga.
It is the home province of Katumbi, the opposition candidate whose arrest is seen as an extension of the narrowing political space.
“In Burundi we saw that the actions of the government led to sanctions against a number of senior figures in government and the security services,” Dholakia said.
Hundreds of people have been killed in neighbouring Burundi in the aftermath of Pierre Nkurunziza clinging to power.
There is increasing insecurity in the east of DRC with impacts as evidenced by the recent massacres perpetrated over the past days.
“This causes us great concern,” said Dholakia.
Tension has been mounting in the country over what the opposition alleges are Kabila’s efforts to cling on to power.
In office since 2001, when he took over on his father Jospeh’s assassination, Kabila was elected president in 2006 and 2011.
He is constitutionally barred from standing for a third term.
UK has reportedly been mulling sanctions against perpetrators of violence.
“The UK’s stand is that those liable for acts of repression or violence will be responsible for their actions and decisions,” said Dholakia.
– CAJ News
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