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AMERICA’S EYES ON DRC: Law To Compel Congo To Hold Free & Fair Elections Goes To Congress

An American lawmaker has introduced a bill to compel the Democratic Republic of Congo holds a free and fair presidential election on December 20, 2023.

The bill outlines Congressional expectations to ensure that the DRC respects the will of the people in the December 2023 presidential elections.

The Americans are also insisting that the law should recognize the role of state and non-state actors in perpetuating the violent conflict in Eastern DRC.

Representative John James (MI-10) introduced the Building Relationships and Increasing Democratic Governance through Engagement (BRIDGE) to DRC Act to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill creates a national strategy to secure United States supply chains involving critical minerals sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The DRC’s critical minerals are required not just for U.S. industrial production but also for national security purposes – it is essential for fighter jet parts, precision munitions, and stealth technology.

Currently, China operates 15 of the 19 cobalt producing mines in the DRC, which has created dominance for the Chinese Communist Party over global critical mineral supply chains which directly harms U.S. strategic interests.

“As a result of this supply chain reality, and with pivotal presidential elections scheduled in the DRC set for December 2023, it is imperative that the United States increases its engagement in the country,” says Representative James.

“As Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, I believe that increasing engagement with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is of strategic interest to the United States and our allies. Ensuring reliable and consistent U.S. access to critical mineral supply chains which originate in the DRC is integral to bolstering our national security,” said Rep. James. “The BRIDGE to DRC Act will help secure our critical mineral supply chains from malign Chinese influence and highlights to Kinshasa the specific human rights and democracy benchmarks required to strengthen the U.S.-DRC bilateral relationship.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Jim Baird (R-IN), Young Kim (R-CA), Thomas Kean Jr. (R-NJ) and Cory Mills (R-FL).

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