Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo endured much bloodshed and brutal political repression in the lead-up to the December 19, 2016 deadline that marked the end of President Joseph Kabila’s constitutionally mandated two-term limit. A Catholic Church-mediated agreement signed at the end of 2016 includes a clear commitment that presidential elections will be held before the end of 2017 and that Kabila will not seek a third term. Yet progress on implementing the deal has stalled, and serious questions persist about whether Kabila and other political leaders are committed to organizing elections. The government crackdown against the political opposition, media, and civil society groups continues, and there has been little to no accountability for past abuses. Violent conflicts have intensified across the country, as numerous armed groups, and in some cases government security forces, attacked civilians.