The European Union formally listed on Monday nine current and former officials of the Democratic Republic of Congo whose role in human rights violations has led to EU sanctions against them. Their names were added “in view of the gravity of the situation in DRC,” and join the list of seven other leaders previously listed as a result of their direct action, complicity or authority for the violations.
The EU noted the deteriorating situation in DR Congo, particularly in the Kasai region conflicts, as well as the political stalemate over President Joseph Kabila’s presidency and its constitutional term limits in its decision-making process.
“The critical socioeconomic situation, aggravated by poor governance and the misappropriation of national resources, leaves a large proportion of the population, and especially young people, with few future prospects and constitutes a risk of destabilization,” the EU body said in a statement. The new sanctions, which take effect immediately, may be followed by further restrictions if necessary.
The sanctions include a travel ban in EU nations, the freezing of assets, and a prohibition to make funds or economic resources available to the listed individuals.
The nine DR Congo leaders, and abbreviated explanations of the EU rationale, include:
- Alex Kande Mupompa, Governor of Kasai Central, accountable for human rights violations caused by government forces including civilian deaths in Mwanza Lomba in February 2017
- Lambert Mende, Minister of Communications and Media for DR Congo, responsible for the ongoing repression of media outlets, both Congolese and foreign, and “obstructing a consensual and peaceful solution towards elections in DRC”
- Ramazani Shadari, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Security, who is “officially responsible for the police and security services and coordinating the work of provincial governors,” including violent crackdowns in Kinshasa and Kongo Central
- Kalev Mutondo, head administrator of the National Intelligence Service (ANR), responsible for the arbitrary arrest, detention and mistreatment of opposition members, civil society activists and others.
- Muhindo Akili Mundos, former FARDC Commander 31st Brigade, for mass killings and serious human rights violations during a period of his tenure in 2014 and 2015
- Evariste Boshab, former Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Security, officially responsible for civilian deaths in Kinshasa and the arrest of activists and opposition leaders
- Gédéon Kyungu Mutanga, leader of the Bakata Katanga militia between 2011 and 2016
- Jean-Claude Kazembe Musonda, former Governor of Haut-Katanga, for civilian deaths at the hands of government forces during Lubumbashi protests in December 2016
- Brigadier General Eric Ruhorimbere, Deputy Commander of the 21st military region (Mbuji-Mayi), responsible since 2014 for violations by FARDC forces directed at the Nsapu
Image: DR Congo File Photo