By Prudence Arobani
The U.S. has declared many senior officials from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as persona non grata for their alleged involvement in acts of corruption and electoral malpractices.
The U.S announced the designation of the senior DRC officials under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2018.
The U.S. said they were designated “due to these officials’ involvement in significant corruption related to the DRC’s electoral process”.
“Further, the Department is taking steps to prevent entry into the United States of certain DRC officials involved in human rights violations.
“Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals are ineligible for entry into the United States,” the Department said.
The U.S. said credible, transparent, and timely elections in December 2018, in which the Congolese people are free to express their views without fear of violence or intimidation, are essential for ensuring a more peaceful and prosperous future for DRC and the region.
“Today’s actions send a strong signal that the U.S. government is committed to fighting corruption, to supporting credible elections that lead to DRC’s first peaceful and democratic transfer of power, and to holding accountable those who are responsible for significant corruption or serious violations of human rights,” the U.S. said.