The United States clamped sanctions on a Democratic Republic of Congo general and a former senior police official on Wednesday in an apparent ratcheting up of pressure on DRC President Joseph Kabila to hold an election for his successor in November.
The U.S. Treasury Department action came a week after dozens of people died in clashes between DRC security forces and protesters angered by what opposition groups charge are Kabila’s plan to postpone the vote and retain power beyond his two-term limit.
Kabila denies the allegation about planning to retain power. His government has said that the November election must be postponed because of logistical problems.
Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba and John Numbi, a former senior police official, were placed on a list of “specially designated nationals,” said a Treasury Department announcement. Any financial assets they have in the United States are blocked and Americans are generally barred from engaging in financial transactions with them.