U.S. is stepping up pressure on rebel groups behind the ongoing violence in the Congo.
The United States is stepping up pressure on rebel groups behind the ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Economic sanctions are being imposed on two militant groups operating in the eastern DRC, the Mouvement du 23 Mars, or M23, and the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda, or FDLR.
The action, announced by the U.S. Treasury Department on January 3rd, means American citizens, companies and interests are barred from providing support for the groups, and any of their assets within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.
The two groups have committed serious crimes involving the targeting of children in the conflict, including recruitment as well as killing, maiming and sexual violence that violate international law. Additionally, M23 is being designated for sanctions for receiving arms and military supplies barred under a United Nations arms embargo in the region. The U.S. sanctions follow similar action taken by the United Nations against the group and against an M23 leader individually, Sultani Makenga.
The United States is committed to working with the international community to end the indiscriminate violence against vulnerable populations of these and other armed groups operating in eastern DRC and exposing those responsible for these atrocities.
There is a credible body of evidence demonstrating support from the government of Rwanda to M23, including significant military and logistical assistance, as well as operational and even political guidance. We urge Rwanda to halt its support to M23 and prevent any and all forms of support to Congolese armed groups.