Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, objected against the arrest of a Congo opposition politician
US Secretary Of State Antony Blinken suggested Wednesday that detaining opposition politicians might be an option. “possible setback”In establishing “the right environment”Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo As part of his African trip, Blinken met in Kinshasa with activists and government officials.
“We have full respect for the laws of the DRC, but we are concerned about any steps taken that could actually reduce the political space, especially as the country heads into elections,”According to AP.
He also said that he had raised the concern with the Congolese government during his meeting with Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, Prime Minister of Congo.
Blinken’s intervention came after reports that Jean-Marc Kabund, the former vice president of the National Assembly, was detained and interrogated on Tuesday. The Congo’s prosecutor general is probing the former ally of President Felix Tshisekedi for “making public insults and harmful accusations that were of offense to the president.”
Kabund was dismissed from his post in the Congolese ruling Party after he had criticized Tshisekedi. Since then, he has started his own party. Congo will hold its next general election in 2019.
Even though Blinken was concerned about Kabund, it was announced by the State Department that $23.75 million would be sent to Congo. It would go to the support of the electoral system. “improve civic and voter education, and help marginalized communities to understand and participate in the political process,” according to Foggy Bottom.
Blinken’s comments also came as former US President Donald Trump was summoned for a deposition by the New York state attorney general, a Democrat, as part of a probe into his business activities.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was raided on Monday by federal agents reportedly looking for documents. Republicans condemned the raid as political motivated and abuse of power. It was intended to prevent Trump’s bid for presidency in 2024.
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