PARIS Oct 4 France said on Tuesday it was time
to prevent the political situation worsening in Democratic
Republic of Congo and consider imposing European Union
The United States imposed sanctions on a general and a
former senior police official on Sept. 28 in an apparent
ratcheting up of pressure on President Joseph Kabila to hold an
election for his successor in November.
Dozens of people have died in clashes between security
forces and protesters angered by what opposition groups say is
Kabila's plan to postpone the vote and retain power beyond his
"It is necessary to act to stop the situation from worsening
in DRC," Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal told reporters.
"France wants the European Union to use all means at its
disposal, including if necessary and in function of the
evolution of the situation, resorting to sanctions' measures
against those guilty of serious human rights violations or those
who block an exit to the crisis."
Kabila denies planning to retain power. His government has
said the November election must be postponed because of
The vast, mineral-rich central African state has never
experienced a peaceful transition of power. Donors fear growing
political instability could turn into armed conflict in a
country plagued by militias, especially in the lawless east.
Millions of people died in regional wars in Congo between
1996 and 2003 that drew in armies from half a dozen countries.
Speaking on TV5 Monde on Monday, French Foreign Minister
Jean-Marc Ayrault said Kabila should step aside and allow the
election to take place immediately.
"The constitution must be respected, a date must be fixed
for the elections and a real national dialogue needs to really
take place. Mr Kabila does not have the right to stand for
re-election and he needs to set the example," Ayrault said.
(Reporting By John Irish; Editing by Janet Lawrence)