By Godfrey Olukya
ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo
Seven international NGOs on Tuesday pushed for expanded targeted sanctions by the U.S. and European Union on President Joseph Kabila’s family members and financial associates, who they allege are benefiting from unlawful activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Congo’s international partners should show President Kabila that there are real consequences for his abusive rule by imposing sanctions on those family members and financial associates unlawfully benefitting from his unconstitutional power grab,” said Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, one of the NGOs.
“Waiting any longer will only embolden Kabila’s use of violence, repression, and theft to stay in power, and the Congolese people will continue to pay the biggest price.”
The International Contact Group for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, which includes the US, the EU, and the United Nations, will meet on Oct. 12 in The Hague to discuss the country’s political impasse and serious humanitarian and security concerns.
Kabila’s term of office ended in December 2016 but he is still clinging on power.
Besides Human Rights Watch, the other NGOs pushing for more sanctions are the African Association for Defense of Human Rights, European Network for Central Africa, Enough Project, Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa, Rights and Accountability in Development, and Sherpa.