(Ecofin Agency) - Since late 2021, the upsurge in armed violence in the province of North Kivu has led to human rights violations, according to the United States. With these sanctions, Washington underlines its commitment to promoting a peaceful resolution to the escalating conflict.
The United States of America has announced a series of sanctions against several actors in the conflict shaking the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The sanctions, announced in a press release issued by the US Treasury Department on Thursday, August 24, include the freezing of assets held by the targeted individuals in the United States. They also include a ban on any American citizen or entity doing business with any of them.
The measures target three leaders of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a second-in-command of the M23 rebel group, a colonel in the Congolese Army, and a brigadier general in the Rwandan Defense Forces. They include Apollinaire Hakizimana, FDLR defense commissioner, Bernard Byamungu, M23 deputy commander, Salomon Tokolonga, commander of the 3411th FARDC regiment, and Andrew Nyamvumba, brigadier general of the Rwandan Defense Forces.
For Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, “the United States is committed to promoting a peaceful resolution to the escalation of conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo."
"The treasury will not hesitate to hold accountable actors committing human rights abuses and exacerbating this already dire humanitarian situation," he added.
Since late 2021, the province of North Kivu has witnessed an advancement of the M23, an armed group that the USA accuses of being supported by Rwanda. In response, the Congolese army (FARDC) and other armed groups, including the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), have moved into action, exacerbating instability in the region.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), this Central African country has the highest number of internally displaced people on the African continent. Since the beginning of 2023, armed violence has displaced more than 400,000 people in North Kivu, making the DRC one of the most food-insecure countries in the world, the organization said.
"One in four Congolese, some 26.4 million people, cannot meet their basic food needs, and some 6.4 million suffer from acute malnutrition. A figure that has not fallen for two decades," it stressed.
Charlène N’dimon (intern)