Congo oh Congo – cutting your nose to spite your face?

CONGO’S DICTATOR KABILA TRIMS BRUSSELS AIRLINES FLIGHTS AFTER BEING TOLD TO HOLD CREDIBLE ELECTIONS

(Posted 05th February 2018)

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Brussels Airlines, one of the key air arteries for Congo DR with hitherto daily flights between the European capital and Kinshasa, was told by the Kabila regime to reduce their flights from seven to four with immediate effect.
The half witted directive leaves travelers from Kinshasa to Brussels and vice versa stunned with a sudden lack of connections and seats, prompted apparently by the Dictator’s ego ‘hurt’ when the Belgian government in a no nonsense approach told Kabila to stop the violence against his own citizens who protested his continued stay in office after repeatedly postponing the long overdue elections.
Congo DR’s Civil Aviation Director General Jean Tshiumba Mpunga proved a willing tool for Kabila when he wrote earlier today to the Belgian national airlines’ management in Kinshasa, directing the immediate cut in the number of flights.
Some sources in Kinshasa leaning towards the regime cited a lack of reciprocity, seen by aviation pundits as an argument lacking merit as no Congolese airline presently flies to Europe due to the country being on the EU Aviation Black List over safety concerns.
Also pointing into the direction of political retaliation by the Congolese regime was Congo’s insistence that the Belgian operated Schengen Visa House had to suspend operations, followed last week by another directive for a new Belgian development agency to pack up and go.
This is seen largely as a result of Belgium’s principled stand that bilateral relations and cooperation were being reviewed until credible elections have been held in the country where civil unrest has been growing. The EU too has been expressing similar sentiments both as a whole and through member countries.

Brussels Airlines issued a statement that booked passengers on the affected flights will be rebooked and regretted the action of the Congolese regime.

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