DR Congo: European ministers must decide on new targeted sanctions at next Foreign Affairs Council
28 February 2017
As the European Foreign Affairs Ministers are due to discuss the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the next Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting on 6 March 2017, the European Union (EU) must decide on a second round of targeted sanctions (travel ban and asset freeze) against senior political and security actors, closer to the inner circle of President Joseph Kabila and responsible for human rights abuse as well as for the violent crackdown on dissident voices and for undermining the democratic process, said the European Network for Central Africa (EurAc) in its new position paper released today.
EurAc firmly denounces the deterioration of the current political and security situation in the DRC that faces once again a perilous stalemate. Indeed the presidential majority, the Government and President Joseph Kabila, as well as to a lesser extent the opposition parties, are showing a manifest reluctance to actually find a way out to the political crisis and we see the organisation of the elections in December 2017 increasingly fading away. Meanwhile, repression and abuse continue against activists, opponents, human rights defenders and the medias. The excessive violence and serious human rights abuse in the Kasaï, but also observed in Kinshasa, Kongo Central, Tanganyika and Kivu provinces, are also deeply worrying.
“The time is now for the EU to take a stronger stand and adopt additional restrictive measures against those responsible for grave human rights violations and excessive use of force to send a strong signal to President Joseph Kabila and DRC officials that violating the rights of the Congolese people is costly for those responsible”, said Donatella Rostagno, EurAc Director.
Moreover, EurAc, as stressed in today’s new analysis, strongly believes that the complete lack of justice for the victims or their families in Kasaï, Kinshasa, Kongo Central, Tanganyika and the Kivus justifies even more the application of targeted sanctions and the full suspension of the EU financial support to the justice and security programmes.
Right before the resuming of the annual session of the DRC National Assembly on 15 March 2017, the upcoming FAC meeting next Monday provides another perfect and timely opportunity for the EU to demonstrate its firm commitment to supporting democracy and the protection of human rights in the region. In light of the worsening political and security crisis in the DRC, EurAc calls on European Ministers to take prompt and concrete steps to prevent a further escalation of violence and new abuses in the DRC.
To read EurAc’s full policy briefing and the main recommendations to EU ministers, please find it HERE.
For media inquiry and/or more information please contact:
Julie Capoulade – EurAc Comms & Advocacy Officer
Office: +32 2 725 47 70
Mobile: +32 499 81 01 77