U.S. Orders Families of Govt. Personnel Out of DR Congo

The U.S. government has ordered families of government personnel stationed in the Democratic Republic of Congo to leave amid fears of violence. In a statement on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said clashes between security forces and opposition protesters this month had resulted in dozens of deaths, with “poor security conditions” hindering the work of the U.S. Embassy. Worse yet, armed groups “kill, rape, kidnap, pillage, steal vehicles, and carry out military or paramilitary operations in which civilians can be indiscriminately targeted,” the statement said, noting that “the potential for civil unrest is high in parts of Kinshasa and other major cities.” Families of government personnel have been ordered out immediately, starting on September 29. “Most official US government travel to the DRC has been halted,” the statement said. Dozens were killed last week in Kinshasa amid violent clashes that erupted when opposition protesters demanded the resignation of President Joseph Kabila, who’s ruled since 2001. Though his term ends in December, no date for elections has been set and many fear he’ll cling to power.