Sanctions proposed to end DRC repressionFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE International Criminal Court (ICC) must prosecute the perpetrators of the human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while the international community must impose sanctions.
This is the recommendation of rights groups as the government maintains a crackdown on activists and opposition party leaders and members who have opposed extending Joseph Kabila’s presidency beyond the constitutionally mandated two-term limit, which ends on December 19.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the European Union and its member states, the United States, and the United Nations should implement targeted sanctions, including travel bans and assets freezes, against those most responsible for the violent repression and serious human rights violations against dissident voices over the past two years.
The US in June announced its first targeted sanctions against Kinshasa police commissioner, Gen. Céléstin Kanyama.
HRW said for the sanctions to have the greatest impact, the US should expand its list and the EU and UN should implement their own sanctions.
Particular attention should be given to intelligence agency director, Kalev Mutond, who is allegedly behind much of the political repression.
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court should monitor the situation in Congo, visit the country, and publish a statement reminding Congolese officials that the court has jurisdiction over Congo and is watching developments closely, HRW said.
The central African country is experiencing its worst violence in years, with 400 civilians reportedly killed.
A government-led “national dialogue” is due to present its final agreement in the coming days. Most of the main opposition parties have not participated in the process, viewing it as a ploy to delay elections and allow President Kabila to stay in power. Activists and opposition groups have organized nationwide protests towards the end of Kabila’s term.
It is unlikely he will stand down. – CAJ News
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