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Escalating Pressure Needed in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Support Free Elections, End to Violent Kleptocracy

The United States, in concert with other key international actors and the Great Lakes region, should push forward a Democratic Republic of Congo policy centered on the construction of a transparent, accountable system of government. With an election set to take place on December 23rd, it is critical in the short term that the Congolese government allow a much more free and fair election to take place, as a critical step toward much needed systemic reforms  Over the medium to long term, the US, European Union, and African states should press for greater accountability for human rights abuses and corruption along with serious reforms to address corruption, legal accountability and democratic governance.

In order to achieve these important policy goals, there should be a series of clear and escalating pressures, including consequences and accountability when benchmarks are not met or human rights are violated. These pressures should include network sanctions, anti-money laundering measures, and prosecutions.

Grand corruption in Congo undermines the country’s institutions and diverts needed resources from its people. Corruption links closely to the current electoral crisis. President Kabila’s inner circle is trying to maintain power and undermine credible elections in large part in order to maintain its business empire that includes many corrupt activities. Violent repression, bans on peaceful demonstrations, arrests of civil society and opposition leaders, and the use of electronic voting machines despite major security vulnerabilities around Congo’s planned elections may spark a serious crisis and long-term instability in both Congo and the region.

Join us in advocating for a strategy to be implemented by the U.S. Departments of State and Treasury, as well as the European Union, United Nations, and African Union centered on the use of robust financial leverage focused on the key networks involved that enable corruption, human rights abuses, and pillage.

Escalated pressure needed help push for credible elections, accountability, & systemic reform.  @StateDept @USTreasury @EuCouncil @_AfricanUnion should increase use of financial tools #PressureforPeace