DR Congo President Joseph Kabila’s designated successor to contest the December 23 presidential election, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, on Tuesday asked the European Union to lift “humiliating, degrading and disproportionate” sanctions on him and 14 other officials.
The sanctions, which include a freeze on visas that effectively prevent European travel, also affect government spokesman and Communications Minister Lambert Mende and intelligence chief Kalev Mutondo.
Shadary, who was interior minister from December 2016 until the start of this year, was targeted for “human rights violations.”
These sanctions “seriously undermine the image” of these people “some of whom are candidates in major elections which will take place on December 23,” their lawyers Thierry Bontinck and Patrick De Wolf said.
The two lawyers, who are from the Paris and Brussels, also said they would lodge an appeal with the EU court.
Kabila, 47, has been in power since 2001. His second and final term in office ended nearly two years ago, but he remained in power thanks to a caretaker clause in the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Months of feverish speculation about Kabila’s plans, marked by protests that were bloodily repressed, ended in August when he threw his weight behind Shadary.