Britain warned Friday it may seek EU sanctions over “acts of repression” in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as police clashed with supporters of a key opposition leader accused of hiring foreign mercenaries.
The warning came after the mineral-rich African country’s Constitutional Court this week ruled that President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, can stay in office beyond 2016 without being re-elected.
“We are talking to our European colleagues about targeted sanctions against those responsible” for violence and intimidation against the opposition, said Danae Dholakia, Britain’s special envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes region.
“The position of the United Kingdom is that the people responsible for acts of repression or violence will take responsibility for their actions or decisions,” said Dholakia.
The diplomat was referring to the recent legal woes of Moise Katumbi, an opposition candidate for elections in theory due before the end of the year, investigated for some 10 days about the alleged recruitment of mercenaries.
Tension has been growing for months in the DRC because of what the opposition alleges are Kabila’s efforts to cling on to power despite the constitution barring him from standing again for a third term.
On Friday police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of supporters of Katumbi as he appeared in court over the mercenary allegations.
According to his lawyers, Katumbi was assaulted by police as he arrived at the courthouse in the second city of Lubumbashi, but the claims were denied by the regional police chief.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر