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Congo - Q&A from the daily press briefing (04.10.16)

Q - Yesterday evening, the minister said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of sanctions on Congo. Is the possibility of sanctions being discussed at the European level?

It is necessary to keep the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo from deteriorating. Our goal, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2277, adopted unanimously in March, is to guarantee respect of the constitutional order and to revive the political dialogue in the most inclusive and consensus-based manner so that presidential elections can be held as quickly as possible.

Since May 23, the EU foreign ministers have stressed the individual responsibility of actors to strictly respect the rule of law and human rights or face the consequences. France would like the EU to use all the means at its disposal including, if necessary, and in function of how the situation evolves, the use of sanctions against those guilty of serious human rights violations or who have stood in the way of a consensus-based, peaceful end to the crisis that respects the Congolese people’s aspiration to elect its representatives.

In this regard, I want to highlight the minister’s remarks yesterday on TV5: “I am not opposed to sanctions, sometimes we implement them. We adopted them against Russia because of the Ukraine situation, and we did the same for North Korea. If we have to adopt sanctions, we’ll adopt sanctions. But I am also calling for reason. Those who are in power in Kinshasa must shoulder their responsibilities. If they want peace in their country, if they want the best for their people, then they will abide by their Constitution. This has to be decided quickly, because I think there’s a real danger.”

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