UN Sanctions Six DR Congo Rebel Leaders Over Violence

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The United Nations has imposed an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze against six rebel leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo amid violence in the country’s east.

Those sanctioned include the military spokesman of the M23 rebel group, a general in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and two senior leaders in the Ugandan armed group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The others are the leader of the National Coalition of the People for the Sovereignty of Congo (CNPSC), a Mai-Mai group, and a commander in the armed group Twirwaneho.

The announcement followed a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, aimed at discussing the dire security situation in DR Congo.

“We are pleased that as of today, six additional armed group leaders will be designated by the UN DR Congo Sanctions Committee,” Robert Wood, US Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs in the UN said.

“These individuals are responsible for numerous abuses,” he said

The M23 and the FDLR have been at the centre of tensions between the Congolese and Rwandan governments.

DR Congo accuses Rwanda of supporting the Tutsi-led M23 group while the Rwandan government blames its neighbour for collaborating with the Hutu-dominated FDLR rebels whom it says have links to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

During Tuesday’s Security Council briefing, members took turns to condemn the M23’s recent advance towards the town of Sake, which has led to the forced displacement of thousands of people.