Africa

Families of US government personnel ordered to leave Congo amid unrest

Sept. 20, 2016: Congo riot police patrol streets on trucks, after violence erupted due to the delay of the presidential elections in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sept. 20, 2016: Congo riot police patrol streets on trucks, after violence erupted due to the delay of the presidential elections in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.  (AP)

The State Department is halting most official U.S. government travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and ordering family members of U.S. government personnel to leave the country.

Violent clashes broke out in Congo amid political turmoil earlier this month. Americans have been warned about traveling in the African nation for several weeks.

In an updated travel warning issued Thursday, the State Department says continued instability is being reported in Congo. The warning says the potential for civil unrest is high in parts of the capital, Kinshasa, and other major cities.

Congo's electoral commission has decided a presidential election scheduled for November won't be possible, sparking deadly clashes between security forces and demonstrators.

Critics of President Joseph Kabila say the delayed election is an effort to keep Kabila in power.