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US freezes assets of DRC police chief for role in violence

US freezes assets of DRC police chief for role in violence

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The US Treasury on Thursday announced financial sanctions against the head of the Kinshasa police for his role in violence and disappearances in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

General Celestin Kanyama is accused “of being responsible for or complicit in acts of violence and kidnappings targeting civilians, women and children.”

“Under these sanctions, his assets are frozen in the United States and all US entities are prohibited from having any transaction with him,” the statement added.

“While the constitutional limit of the term of President Kabila is coming to an end in December, the regime embarked on a crackdown, including the arrest of opposition members and the violent suppression of political demonstrations, to avoiding the holding of scheduled national elections,“John Smith, Director of the Foreign Assets Control Office (OFAC) said.

“The initiative of the Treasury sends the clear message of condemnation by the US of violent and repressive actions of the regime, particularly those of Celestine Kanyama, threatening the future of democracy for the people of the DRC,” he added.

In January 2015, General Kanyama led Kinshasa police to stop a demonstration that resulted in the death of more than 40 people, including twenty by the police, said the Treasury.

Between late 2013 and early 2014, during a police operation called “Likofi” intended to fight against gangsters, at least fifty young men and boys were killed and thirty disappeared, it added.