By Scott Morgan/Washington, D.C.
The last few days regarding relations between the United States and the Democratic Republic of the Congo can best be described as puzzling.
The delayed elections that were supposed to be run back in 2016 are scheduled to take place on December 23rd of this year. Just before Christmas so it is hoped that analysts will be focused on gift-giving instead of wondering if this election will be rigged. That is if it is held at all.
This past weekend was an interesting time in this relationship. At the same time that the Kabila Government was screaming that the Trump Administration was interfering in the Election Process, The US Embassy issued a Security Alert highlighting an unspecified threat against US interests in the Capital of Kinshasa.
Unconfirmed reports state that select Special Forces and Presidential Guard units did deploy along the Congo River facing Brazzaville to deal with this terrorist threat. Several reports suggested that ISIS would be the party to launch such an attack but there is no proven existence of their presence in the Country. Most Militia Groups that currently operate in the Eastern Part of the Country are considered not to have the capacity to launch such an attack in Kinshasa.
Since 2012, Hezbollah has been present in the country. There is a train of thought to indicate that Iran would agree to such an attack in an effort to relieve pressure placed on their economy by the sanctions that were recently imposed by the Trump Administration. Although some analysts do snicker when they hear about this idea they do so at their own peril.
Also on November 27th the House of Representatives in Washington passed HR 6207 The Democratic Republic of the Congo Democracy and Accountability Act of 2018. The vote was 374 for 11 against with 46 abstentions. Since the Senate passed similar legislation earlier this year this may be placed into the toolkit of the responses from the United States when/if there are issues occurring with the tabulation of the ballots.This legislation will not be forwarded to that legislative body.
Most observers are not optimistic that this poll will be free and fair. Whatever happens will not be the result of the Congolese People per se but by those who seek their entrenchment in power.