The parliamentarians and the two ministers announced the end of a series of cooperation interventions, which should benefit the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC will be deprived of 25 million euros, according to the Belgian authorities.
Brussels also promises to strengthen its solidarity with the Congolese population by allocating funding for humanitarian aid, until the holding of presidential elections and credible elections in December 2018, according to the two ministers.
They also expressed, in a statement, their concern about the human rights situation in the DRC. Belgium condemned the intervention of the police on 31 December.
It calls for the opening of an independent investigation into the crackdown on protesters, so that responsibilities can be located. A new program of cooperation with the Congolese authorities can only be concluded after credible elections, according to Didier Reynders and Alexander De Croo.
In addition, trade relations between the two countries may be affected by another decision. Credendo, a Belgian public agency that guarantees exports and investments abroad, has announced to the newspaper “La Libre Belgique” that it will no longer carry out current commercial transactions with the DRC.
Due to the very low level of foreign exchange reserves of the Congolese Central Bank, equivalent to only two weeks of imports, this measure could lead to a risk of serious default for the DRC.
Then, the Credendo expects a deterioration of the Congolese political situation in the coming months.
Finally, the Belgian credit insurance agency considers possible new international sanctions, especially against companies related to President Joseph Kabila, which could make trade more difficult.