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US Sanctions More M23 Leaders

M23 rebel leader Bishop Jean Marie Runiga, addressing press conference, Bunagana, Congo, Jan. 3, 2013.

US taking additional action against leaders of rebel group in DRC.

The United States is taking additional action against leaders of one of the rebel groups behind the ongoing violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Two men in senior positions with the Mouvement du 23 Mars, or M23, have been designated for sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department. The action, announced January 24th, means American citizens, companies and interests are barred from providing support for Eric Badege and Jean-Marie Runiga Rugerero, and any of their assets within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

US Sanctions More M23 Leaders
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Runiga is the political head of M23, and Badege is an M23 military commander who has led a series of attacks that involved the killing of civilians.

M23 has 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 has been designated for sanctions for receiving arms and military supplies barred under a United Nations arms embargo in the region. The U.S. sanctions against Badege and Runiga follow similar action taken by the United Nations against the men and against the group on December 31, 2012.

The United States is committed to working with the international community to end the violence against vulnerable populations by M23 and other armed groups operating in eastern DRC and exposing those responsible for these atrocities.