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Archive for the tag “U.S. Sanctions”

Opinion: The Trump Administration change their mind every month on the DRC Election!

Well, not that Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States is a stable genius, neither is his administration. That is why things like today happens. Not that its surprising, it is just their twisted imperial minds that shower the world with these gems.

Not that Trump nor his administration cares, they are just moving along and acting like nothing happen. They are just dealing with one scandal to the next. While hiding from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but that is what the President does. That is why the Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of State can sleep in his office. Because that is must be happening in Washington D.C. like the Starbucks around the corner only have decaf left.

Well, lets be serious, the Democratic Republic of Congo had a fraudulent elections recently, they had the polls in December 2018, Announced in January 2019. later the same month verified by the Constitutional Court. Even if the counting was rigged in favour of someone whose the predecessor made a shady back-room deal with. However, all of that was not a concern for the USA as the transition was happening in the end of January.

However, now that we’re in the end of February 2019. The US Administration is changing their mind. Why do I say this, because they stated this on the 24th January 2019: “The United States welcomes the Congolese Constitutional Court’s certification of Felix Tshisekedi as the next President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We are committed to working with the new DRC government” (…) “The United States salutes the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for their insistence on a peaceful and democratic ‎transfer of power” (U.S. Department of State, 24.01.2019).

This all seems like all fun and games right? That the US is ready to be there and support Felix Tshisekedi and his new administration. That Washington D.C. would give assistance and help the newly minted President in the DRC. Therefore, with the salute and the celebration message of January seems weird today, as the U.S. Department of State stated this:


“The Secretary of State is publicly designating, due to their involvement in significant corruption relating to the electoral process, the following individuals: Mr. Corneille Nangaa, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (D.R.C.) National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI); Mr. Norbert Basengezi Katintima, Vice President of CENI; Mr. Marcellin Mukolo Basengezi, Advisor to the President of CENI; Mr. Aubin Minaku Ndjalandjoko, President of the D.R.C.’s National Assembly; and Mr. Benoit Lwamba Bindu, President of the D.R.C.’s Constitutional Court. This public designation is being made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2019, (Div. F, P.L. 116-6-)” (…) “The Secretary of State is also imposing visa restrictions on election officials as well as military and government officials believed to be responsible for, complicit in, or to have engaged in human rights violations or abuses or undermining of the democratic process in the D.R.C. These individuals enriched themselves through corruption, or directed or oversaw violence against people exercising their rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. They operated with impunity at the expense of the Congolese people and showed a blatant disregard for democratic principles and human rights” (U.S. Department of State, 22.02.2019).

So, between the 24th January and the 22nd February 2019 the U.S. Department of State, went from saluting and welcomed the certification of Tshisekedi, but today they are sanctioning the fellows who made that possible. If that isn’t a double play or even foul. Because the US should either not verify and celebrate something… for later changing their minds. This isn’t a place of pitching stories and seeing, which seems the most feasible that moment.

That is what is really unique and special about this. The short paradigm shift of sanctioning the ones that made it possible for Tshisekedi to become the Head of State. They didn’t expect that the US would change this quickly. Surely, Kinshasa should be shocked, the CACH-FCC coalition must wonder, how do we get out of this?

Maybe, next month the US will send their regard and send their love-letters again to Kinshasa. Right now, they are sanctioned. So, it has to change the next month. That is how the U.S. Department of State works, apparently. Let’s Salute Secretary Mike Pompeo and his staff. They are not looking smart, but dumb. Surely, that is protocol under Trump, so that they are making their President looking smarter. Peace.

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RDC: Communiqué de Lambert Mende sur les nouvelles Sanction Américaines (29.09.2016)

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U.S. Gov: Treasury Sanctions Two Individuals for Threatening the Stability of and Undermining Democratic Processes in The Democratic Republic of the Congo (28.09.2016)

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Action Targets Current and Former Government Officials
 
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two individuals, Gabriel Amisi Kumba and John Numbi, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by E.O. 13671, following increasing indications that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to suppress political opposition in the country, often through violent means.  Specifically, OFAC designated John Numbi for engaging in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the DRC, and Gabriel Amisi Kumba for being the leader of an armed group that has threatened the peace, security, or stability of the DRC.  As a result of today’s actions, all of the designated individuals’ assets within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
“These current and former Democratic Republic of the Congo government officials have engaged in actions that undermine democratic processes in the DRC and repress the political rights and freedoms of the Congolese people, risking further and more widespread instability in the DRC, and the broader Great Lakes region,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director.  “Today’s action builds on the United States’ continued commitment to disrupt this destructive behavior and foster a better and more stable future for the DRC and the Congolese people.  Today’s action is not directed at the people of DRC.  It is intended to alter the behavior of the targeted individuals.”
DRC state agents have reportedly continued to violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, have engaged in politically motivated detentions of members of civil society and opposition representatives, and have used excessive force in response to demonstrations.  In several areas of the country, defense and security forces have violently repressed demonstrations organized to oppose a new draft electoral law that many fear would allow President Kabila to run for a third term.
Gabriel Amisi Kumba
Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba (Amisi) is a Commander in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC).  He is the leader of FARDC units in the First Defense Zone, which covers the provinces of Bandudu, Bas Congo, Equateur, and Kinshasa. These units have reportedly engaged in violent repression of political demonstrations.  Increasing violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly have been reported in the western provinces, particularly in Kinshasa.  FARDC soldiers have used excessive force and lethal weapons during demonstrations and political rallies, particularly during demonstrations organized by opposition leaders and civil society actors in January 2015.
In August 2014, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) reportedly denounced the fact that no judicial investigation had been opened against Amisi.
John Numbi
General John Numbi (Numbi) is the former National Inspector for the Congolese National Police.  During the March 2016 gubernatorial elections in the DRC’s four ex-Katangan provinces, Numbi used violent intimidation to secure victories for candidates affiliated with President Kabila’s MP coalition.  Numbi threatened to kill opposition candidates who did not voluntarily withdraw from the race, and on the same day these exchanges purportedly took place, three candidates withdrew.  Numbi also reportedly gave provincial deputies a unique numeric code to write on each of their ballots so he could verify their votes after the election.  Though he is no longer a DRC Government official, Numbi is reportedly an influential advisor to President Kabila.

Press Release: World Bank Group Suspends Financing to the Inga-3 Basse Chute Technical Assistance Project (25.07.2016)

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WASHINGTON, July 25, 2016 — The World Bank Group has suspended disbursements of funding to the Inga-3 Basse Chute (BC) & Mid-Size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance (TA) Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This follows the Government of DRC’s decision to take the project in a different strategic direction to that agreed between the World Bank and the Government in 2014.

On March 20, 2014 the World Bank’s Board approved a US$73.1-million grant from its International Development Association (IDA) for the project, consisting of Inga-3 BC development support (US$47.5 million) and mid-size hydropower development support (US$25.6 million). At the time of suspension, approximately 6% of total project financing had been disbursed.

The Inga component of the TA project aimed to finance a flexible suite of technical assistance, including strategic advice to the Government, complementary studies, capacity building, and institutional strengthening. The IDA TA project aimed to support a government-led process for the transparent development of Inga-3 BC as a public private partnership. The World Bank Group is in a continuing dialogue with the Government about the implementation arrangements of the project, with the goal of ensuring that it follows international good practice.

The World Bank Group remains committed to supporting the DRC in its efforts to provide affordable and reliable energy for its people and to drive sustainable sources of growth for its economy. Beyond the Inga project, the Bank Group will remain engaged in the electricity sector in DRC by focusing on improving the performance of the State Utility SNEL, rehabilitating mid-size hydropower plants, increasing energy access, and continuing support to regional transmission interconnections.

Concerne Information de l’organisation de marche de soutien au General Celestin Kanyama (24.06.2016)

March DRC General June 2016

Treasury Sanctions High-Ranking Government Security Official for Role in Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (24.06.2016)

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WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, June 24, 2016 – U.S Department of the Treasury, Press Release, 6/23/2016.

Action Targets Kinshasa Police Commissioner for Police Violence Against DRC Civilians

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Congolese government official, Céléstin Kanyama, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by Executive Order 13671, which authorizes the designation of persons for specified conduct “contributing to the conflict” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  Specifically, OFAC designated Kanyama for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, or forced displacement in the DRC, and for being a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in such conduct.  As a result of today’s actions, all assets of the individual designated that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.

Today’s action is not directed at the people of DRC.  It is intended to alter the behavior of individuals involved in violence against civilians.  The United Nations Joint Human Rights Office reported that the beginning of 2015 was marred by “an increase in the number of violations of political rights and public freedoms” committed by DRC government agents, particularly by police.  In several provinces, security forces violently repressed demonstrations organized to oppose a new draft electoral law that many feared would allow President Kabila to run for a third term. Clashes between police and protestors have continued this year.

“As President Kabila’s constitutionally limited term nears its end in December, the regime has engaged in a pattern of repression, including the arrest of opposition members and violent suppression of political protests, all to avoid scheduling national elections,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director.  “Treasury’s action today sends a clear message that the United States condemns the regime’s violence and repressive actions, especially those of Céléstin Kanyama, which threaten the future of democracy for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” 

Police in KInshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Céléstin Kanyama 
General Céléstin Kanyama is the Congolese National Police (PNC) Provincial police commissioner for Kinshasa.  Under his leadership, police forces engaged in the targeting of civilian protestors through acts of violence.

Kanyama was the primary commander of Operation Likofi, a police operation between late 2013 and early 2014 that was set up to combat criminal delinquency in Kinshasa.  However, the operation reportedly did not enforce the law in Kinshasa, but instead used unlawful violent tactics to establish a climate of fear.  During this operation, Kanyama was responsible for extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances.  In raids across the city, uniformed police wearing black masks dragged suspects out of their homes at night at gunpoint with no arrest warrants.  At least 50 young men and boys were reportedly killed, and over 30 were reported to be forcibly “disappeared” during the operation.

In January 2015, during Kanyama’s tenure as Kinshasa police commissioner, over 40 people were killed during demonstrations in Kinshasa, including at least 20 people fatally shot by security forces.  The demonstrators were protesting proposed changes to the electoral law that many Congolese believed would permit President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond his mandated two-term limit.

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