CONGO – The US State Department is halting most official U.S. government travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and ordering family members of U.S. government personnel to leave the country.
Violent clashes broke out in Congo amid political turmoil earlier this month. Americans have been warned about traveling in the African nation for several weeks.
In an updated travel warning issued Thursday, the State Department says continued instability is being reported in Congo. The warning says the potential for civil unrest is high in parts of the capital, Kinshasa, and other major cities.
Congo’s electoral commission has decided a presidential election scheduled for November won’t be possible, sparking deadly clashes between security forces and demonstrators.
Critics of President Joseph Kabila say the delayed election is an effort to keep Kabila in power.
Meanwhile, In Sudan the Justice Minister has refuted claims by displaced persons in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur that they suffered chemical exposure at the hands of the government of Sudan.
Amnesty International reported earlier Thursday that since January, people in Jebel Marra have reported blisters and rashes, peeling skin, eye problems including total vision loss, bloody vomit, diarrhea and severe respiratory problems.
Amnesty said the symptoms are due to chemical weapons used by Sudanese authorities. As many as 250 people, including children, may have died as a result of chemical attacks, and hundreds more have been injured, according to the rights group.
Source: The Associated Press