Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, addresses the 69th United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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Concerned over Congolese President Joseph Kabila's apparent attempts to cling to power, U.S. officials are pushing for sanctions against his inner circle but running into opposition from European powers wary of moving too quickly. Kabila is ineligible to stand in Democratic Republic of Congo's next election due in November, after serving two elected terms. U.S. officials, including the State Department's special envoy to Africa's Great Lakes region, Tom Perriello, and several senators, are considering sanctions against Congolese officials, for the moment mostly lower-level people in the security forces.Senator Jeff Flake, the subcommittee's chairman, told Reuters he had discussed targeted sanctions with State Department officials.Without the EU, sanctions may have little impact since officials in Congo, a former Belgian colony, are thought to have most assets in Europe.Congo's government has bristled at talk of sanctions.Last month allies of Moise Katumbi, Kabila's main political rival, visited Washington to plead for sanctions.
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