U.S. Committed to Contributing to the Fight Against Corruption in Congo

Deputy Assistant Secretary Heather Merritt in Lubumbashi, DRC

Date: May 21, 2019

Subject: U.S. Committed to Contributing to the Fight Against Corruption in Congo

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Heather Merritt visited the DRC this week to support President Tshisekedi’s efforts to combat corruption and to discuss opportunities to deepen the U.S.-DRC partnership in civilian security and rule of law.

In Kinshasa, Ms. Merritt discussed ways the U.S. can further support efforts to combat corruption and highlighted existing U.S. support for the DRC’s security sector while underlining the importance of further strengthening the DRC’s judicial systems in meetings with Acting Minister of Justice Amariaz Ruberwa, Presidential Deputy Chief of Staff Kolongele Eberande, and PNC Commissioner General Dieudonne Amuli. Her engagements with civil society, judges, and alumni of the U.S.-funded International Law Enforcement Academy focused on strengthening partnerships with Congolese committed to strengthening the rule of law.

During a May 15-16 visit to Lubumbashi, Ms. Merritt met with Acting Governor Momat Kakudji, local police, and community leaders to observe U.S.-funded programs and how they are already improving security in Haut Katangan communities. Ms. Merritt met with the Lubumbashi Prosecutor General and the President of the Appeals Court to discuss strengthening the judicial system through a U.S.-funded database that increases efficiency and transparency in court filing systems.

Ms. Merritt’s visit, her first to the DRC, is in response to President Tshisekedi’s request for closer cooperation with the United States during his April 2019 visit to Washington.

“The United States supports President Tshisekedi’s commitment to combat corruption and improve the rule of law in the DRC,” said Ms. Merritt. “INL looks forward to advancing our privileged partnership for peace and prosperity through strengthened civil security institutions.”