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U.S. sanctions DRC general, rebels over protest crackdown: Treasury

U.S. sanctions DRC general, rebels over protest crackdown: Treasury

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The United States issued sanctions on Monday targeting four military and militia leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo for engaging in “destabilizing activity” that has prolonged the conflict in that country, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

Those sanctioned included Muhindo Akili Mundos, a general in the armed forces accused of a brutal crackdown on civilians in his sector. Senior rebels from three different militant groups also were sanctioned: Gedeon Kyungu Mutanga, Guidon Shimiray Mwissa and Lucien Nzabamwita, the Treasury said in a statement.

The U.S. action came days after the U.N. Security Council blacklisted the men for “planning, directing, or committing acts in the DRC that constitute human rights violations or abuses or violations of international humanitarian law.”

A series of opposition protests have been clamped down by the police. The most recent being a peaceful march by the Catholic Church. Police fired tear gas as protesters holding green leaves and arrested a number of priests and portesters.

Congo is Africa’s largest copper producer but ranks very low on the U.N. Human Development Index. Congo has not experienced a peaceful transition of power since independence in 1960. Dozens have been killed in anti-Kabila demonstrations in the capital, Kinshasa and other parts of the country.

REUTERS

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