The United States government has frozen assets of two Congolese government officials accusing them of having a hand in the ongoing political violence in DRC capital, Kinshasa.
A statement released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury identified the targets as Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba and General John Numbi; “their assets within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”
US action against these two Congolese, “is intended to alter the behaviour of the targeted individuals,” said John E. Smith a director of US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Specifically, the US government accuses Numbi for engaging in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the DRC, and Kumba is the leader of an armed group that has threatened the peace, security, or stability of the DRC.
“Today’s action builds on the United States’ continued commitment to disrupt this destructive behavior and foster a better and more stable future for the DRC and the Congolese people. Today’s action is not directed at the people of DRC,” Smith said in the statement.
According to Smith these current and former Democratic Republic of the Congo government officials have engaged in actions that undermine democratic processes in the DRC and repress the political rights and freedoms of the Congolese people, risking further and more widespread instability in the DRC, and the broader Great Lakes region.
Congolese state agents have reportedly continued to violate human rights and fundamental freedoms. They are engaged in politically motivated detentions of members of civil society and opposition representatives, and have used excessive force in response to demonstrations.
Maj. Gen. Kumba is a Commander in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) While, General Numbi is former National Inspector for the Congolese National Police.
The Capital Kinshasa has gone in flames and massive demonstrations organized to oppose a new draft electoral law that many fear would allow President Kabila to run for a third term. Defense and security forces have violently repressed demonstrations.