A group of nine US Senators including former presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz argued the Office of the President on Monday to apply maximum pressure on DRC Government so that the democratic reforms in the country do not derail.
The senators argued the US Government to closely monitor the ongoing electoral reforms debate in DRC to ensure the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections are fair and transparent. The declaration states that any future administration in DRC that comes to power by means other than a credible democratic election will not enjoy friendly relations with the US.
The senators asked the US Government to designate additional officials in DRC and companies responsible for or complicit for high-level corruption, state funds embezzlement and money laundering for sanctions. They called on the US to undertake robust anti-money laundering measures to disrupt the ability of Congolese officials to launder the proceeds of corruption abroad through the US and EU system.
The senators also called on the US State Department to make anti-corruption reforms a condition of IMF non-emergency lending for the country. They insisted on the necessity for Congolese state-owned companies to publish annual financial reports and undergo and publish independent audits reports.
The declaration also pointed out severe human rights violences and crimes due to the gold black market in DRC. The US Senators said gold reportedly continues to be among the biggest sources of finance for armed groups in Eastern DRC. They argued the US to take actions to disrupt illicit supply chains. The US Government should consider sanctions against companies and middlemen, including in Rwanda, Uganda and United Arab Emirates which facilitate the illicit export of gold.
The senators welcomed signs of progress with President Tshisekedi and hoped if His administration can demonstrate progress in countering corruption and advancing reforms to meet the needs of the Congolese people, it will weaken the predatory system that has left the majority of the people living in poverty and vulnerable to violence.
The US Senators declaration was met wit mix feelings in the DRC. President Tshisekedi entourage is using the same as a recognition by the US for the President efforts to eradicate corruption and impunity. The former President Joseph Kabila sympathisers are pointing to the US interferences within DRC politics and sees the senators declaration as a threat to the country political and proceedings independence. Read full declaration – Tamtam News