The United States on Thursday ordered families of its personnel to leave the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) citing concerns over escalation of violence in the country.
According to the State Department’s travel alert on the DRC, ‘‘the potential for civil unrest is high in parts of Kinshasa and other major cities.’‘
The statement added that the violent clashes of September 19 and 20, between protesters and security forces relative to the election process had resulted in the loss of life and the destruction of property.
‘‘Very poor transportation infrastructure throughout the country and poor security conditions make it difficult for the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services anywhere outside of Kinshasa,’‘ the statement added.
DRC fights back at US sanctions
The US had earlier imposed sanctions on two top officials of the DRC. The sanctions ban US individuals and businesses from dealings with the two men.
Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba, a commander of the armed forces, believed to have led units that have violently repressed political demonstrations in several provinces including Kinshasa and General John Numbi, a former national inspector in the police and a close advisor of Kabila.
The DRC government has responded to the move by the US Treasury, accusing Washington of sowing chaos in the country as it has done in Libya and South Sudan.
“It is clear, if we look back at history, that this pattern is similar to the one that led to chaos in nations like Libya and South Sudan, which now face extinction,” Lambert Mende, the spokesperson of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government, said in a statement.
“In light of these shameless initiatives… regarding these officers, the government wonders about the US authorities’ logic and motivations,” Mende added.