US orders some staffers from DRC as election approaches

2018-12-15 18:28


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The United States has ordered "non-emergency" government employees and family members to leave Democratic Republic of Congo as a major election approaches and armed groups remain a concern.

A new advisory urges Americans not to travel to eastern DRC and the Kasai provinces because of conflict.

It says many cities experience sometimes violent demonstrations, and "the government has responded with heavy-handed tactics that have resulted in civilian casualties and arrests."

DRC holds a long-delayed presidential election on December 23. Rights groups and others have reported campaign-related deaths in the past week.

In the capital, Kinshasa, thousands of voting machines were destroyed in a fire that the government said could be criminal in nature. The US notes "extremely limited infrastructure" outside Kinshasa, posing a challenge as DRC uses the machines for the first time.

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