The United States government on Thursday applauded the efforts of president Felix Tshisekedi to drive a ‘change agenda’, pointing out that decisions like the release of political prisoners are promising signs that Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) can become truly democratic.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed support for Congo President Felix Tshisekedi’s “change agenda” to tackle corruption, improve human rights and strengthen security during their first meeting on Wednesday, the State Department said.
It was Tshisekedi’s first visit to the United States since winning Dec. 30 elections, which while marred by widespread accusations of fraud, led to the first transfer of power via the ballot box in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“They discussed the future of U.S.-DRC relations following the country’s historic transfer of power earlier this year,” the department said in a statement.
They also discussed ways to combat the Ebola outbreak in the country’s eastern region, which has killed more than 600 people, and ways to open the country to U.S. investment, the department added.
Washington has imposed sanctions against senior Congolese elections officials for fraud and corruption in the Dec. 30 vote.
While the sanctions have targeted Congo’s electoral commission chief and advisers, Washington has stopped short of calling into question the legitimacy of Tshisekedi’s victory.
Since his arrival in the United States on Wednesday, Tshisekedi has;
- Visited the Georges town University which formed the famous Congolese-American basketball player, Dikembe Mutombo.
- Visited the memorial dedicated to civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King,in Washington DC.
- Addressed American investors at the US Chamber of Commerce.
#RDC— Présidence RDC ?? (@Presidence_RDC) April 4, 2019
Mot de bienvenue du Sous-secrétaire d‘État américain aux affaires africaines TIBOR NAGY au Président de la République Démocratique du Congo, Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi, en visite de travail à Washington.
Institut américain pour la Paix, mercredi 3 avril 2019. pic.twitter.com/6MRKVCxqwG
He is also scheduled to meet Congolese living in the United States. It is not clear whether Tshisekedi who took office in January this year, will meet his counterpart, Donald Trump.