Democratic Republic of Congo

Political tensions have risen throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, as political and religious leaders, activists, students, and others have spoken out against proposed changes to Congo’s constitution and other proposals that would allow President Joseph Kabila to stay in power for longer than the two consecutive terms currently permitted. Government authorities have sought to silence dissent with threats, violence, and arbitrary arrests. In eastern Congo, dozens of armed groups remain active. Many of their commanders lead forces that have been responsible for numerous war crimes for which few have been held accountable. Congolese army soldiers have also been responsible for abuses against the civilian population they are meant to protect.