EU prolongs sanctions against Congo ruling party candidate

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has prolonged sanctions against Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s chosen successor just two weeks before a historic election in the resource-rich Central African country.

EU headquarters said Monday that travel bans and asset freezes will be renewed for a year against Congo’s ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary and 13 other people.

Shadary was sanctioned by the EU last year for obstructing Congo’s electoral process and a crackdown against protesters angry over the long-delayed vote.

The decision, taken by EU foreign ministers in Brussels, could be reviewed “in the light of and following” the elections, scheduled for Dec. 23.

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It could be Congo’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power. The opposition fears that Kabila , who has ruled since 2001, will assert power behind the scenes if Shadary wins.

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