Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement on Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila’s decision to step down:

“After 17 dark and bloody years, Joseph Kabila’s reign finally appears to be ending. Now deadly government crackdowns must stop so the Congolese people can choose their next president in free, fair and transparent elections. Any credible election will allow opposition candidates to run campaigns free from legal harassment, intimidation and physical harm. The Foreign Affairs Committee will continue to track this situation closely.”

NOTE: For more than four years, Chairman Royce has been pushing Kabila to respect the DRC’s Constitution, stop human rights abuses and allow for free and fair elections.