US imposes sanctions on top Congolese officials after election delay

London [UK], Sept. 29 : The United States has imposed sanctions on two senior officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo in an apparent warning to President Joseph Kabila to respect the constitution and call elections later this year.

The unstable African country has suffered repeated bouts of unrest since Kabila, 45, announced that the polls would be delayed, reports the Guardian.

Last week about 50 people died in clashes between security forces and protesters angered by what opposition groups charge is Kabila's plan to retain power unlawfully through the indefinite postponement of a vote.

The President's supporters say that it is impossible to hold fair polls as planned due to logistical and financial constraints.

Opposition leaders said they planned further street protests, despite the deaths. The new sanctions target Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba and John Numbi, a former senior police official.

Any financial assets they have in the US are blocked and Americans are generally barred from engaging in financial transactions with them.

The move has been welcomed by campaigners. Kabila took over as leader of the DRC less than two weeks after his father, Laurent, was shot by a bodyguard in the presidential palace in 2001.

He was elected president in disputed polls in 2006 and again in 2011. The DRC's constitution bars a third term..

Source: ANI