DC

Dupont Residents Protest Republic Of Congo Embassy's Lawn Paving

11/15/2011 10:06 am ET

WASHINGTON -- Residents of Dupont Circle plan to protest outside the Republic of Congo's embassy on Tuesday evening to vent their anger over the African nation's decision to pave its 16th Street NW front lawn and chop down three mature trees.

But as the Washington Examiner notes, while upset neighbors may think the move is illegal, the "property's sovereign status ... likely leaves them with little legal recourse."

In January, the Republic of Congo asked permission to construct a circular driveway in the mansion's front lawn. As Greater Greater Washington reported, the State Department said it wasn't necessary and the District Department of Transportation was also against the proposed driveway. The Congolese embassy withdrew its request.

But in September, it paved over the entire front lawn and chopped down three mature trees.

In an interview with the Examiner, the Congolese ambassador to Washington, Serge Mombouli, said:

"We had requested a driveway and that was not approved, [so] we came to the decision we should pave the front because anyway there was not really a yard there ... It was just a lot of mud and a lot of mosquitoes."

"Nobody can stop us to do that driveway."

As Borderstan reports, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association plans to protest starting at 5 p.m. On Nov. 7, organization's board voted unanimously on a resolution demanding the embassy to replace the lawn and the mature trees.

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