5 December 2018

Congo-Kinshasa: Threat from Islamic State-Affiliated Group Reason U.S. Embassy Closed

A threat from a group affiliated with Islamic State was responsible for the closing of the U.S. Embassy in Democratic Republic of Congo for more than a week, a U.S. official tells VOA.

The U.S. official, speaking Monday on the condition of anonymity, was unable to clarify whether the terror group was comprised of Congolese nationals or members from outside of the country.

The State Department declined to comment on the threat. The department has only described the embassy closing in Kinshasa as due to a “terror threat,” without elaborating.

The details come on the eve before the embassy reopens to the public.

“The Embassy in Kinshasa has been working closely with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to address a terrorist threat against U.S. government facilities in Kinshasa,” a State Department official said.

“Embassy Kinshasa determined it appropriate to re-open to the public and return to normal staffing,” he added.

The embassy’s website said all consular services Tuesday will be “by appointment only."

The embassy in the capital, Kinshasa, has been closed to the public since November 26. U.S. citizens were warned to "keep a low profile."

DRC is less than one month away from a long-anticipated presidential election.

President Joseph Kabila has held onto power long after his term in office officially expired in 2016.

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