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DRC: UN extends sanctions, pushes for respect of electoral calendar

DRC: UN extends sanctions, pushes for respect of electoral calendar

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The United Nations Security Council expressed concern on Thursday over the arrest of political opposition members in the Democratic Republic of Congo and urged the president to hold elections by the end of the year as required by the constitution.

The council voted a resolution to renew sanctions against Kinshasa until July 2017. These include the prohibition of the purchase of weapons and transport.

The Congolese government has said it is unlikely it will be able to hold elections on time for logistical reasons as opponents of President Joseph Kabila accuse him of trying to cling to power.

The tension between the opposition and the power is still vivid. The UN is concerned that the rise in repression in the country, calling for inclusive dialogue.

The Security Council’s stance coincides with US’s sanctioning of a senior police chief in the DRC General Celestin Kanyama, following months of criticism over the involvement of Congo’s security forces in human rights violations and restrictions on political freedoms.

The Congolese government condemned the action, saying “It is an infringement on its sovereignty and will undermine bilateral relations.