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Washington Throws Its Conditional Support Behind the Congo's New Leader

Apr 12, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Democratic Republic of the Congo President Felix Tshisekedi meet in Washington on April 3, 2019.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi meet in Washington on April 3. The United States has signaled its willingness to work with the new leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in exchange for deep reforms and efforts to dismantle former President Joseph Kabila's networks of power.

(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States is turning over a new leaf with a troubled African giant. New Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi visited Washington last week in a sign that his hosts are willing to reset relations after a controversial election. The move makes sense: For Washington, Tshisekedi's election marks a potential turning point in the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an important country that has abundant mineral resources, as well as profound security and economic challenges. But despite enthusiastic talk of bolstering ties between Washington and the new administration, the elephant in the room remains former President Joseph Kabila, who could yet scuttle Tshisekedi's plans for a new Congo....

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