UN Imposes Sanctions on Individuals Linked to Armed Movements in Eastern DRC

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The United Nations has imposed sanctions on six individuals associated with armed movements operating in eastern DRC. Following recommendations from France, the United States, and the United Kingdom, six new individuals, including members of the M23, Twirwaneho group, ADF, and FDLR, were added to the UN sanctions list on Tuesday, February 20.

Each of the individuals placed on the UN sanctions list on February 20 is accused by the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee of committing human rights violations and abuses of international humanitarian law, including attacks on civilians, killings, rapes, abductions, and assaults on schools and hospitals.

Among the sanctioned individuals is Willy Ngoma, the military spokesperson of the M23. This designation is not new for him, as he is already listed on the sanctions lists of the United States and the European Union. This new sanction further tarnishes the image of the M23, which is still seeking direct dialogue with Kinshasa. The group is also accused by the UN of causing the deaths of at least 150 civilians in the past three months.

Also sanctioned is Michel Rukunda, also known as Makanika, the commander of the Twirwaneho armed group, active in South Kivu. Despite previous sanctions imposed by the United States, his group has recently resumed hostilities against Mai-Mai militias in southern Minembwe. UN experts also accuse the Twirwaneho group of collaborating with the M23.

Another sanctioned individual is Apollinaire Hakizimana, commander of the FDLR, already under US sanctions due to the threat his group poses to the security of Congolese and Rwandan civilians.

Two leaders of the ADF, Ahmad Mahmood Hassan from Tanzania, and Mohamed Ali Nkalubo from Uganda, are also targeted by sanctions. Finally, William Amuri Yakutumba, leader of the National Coalition of the People for the Sovereignty of Congo (CNPSC), is also included on the list of sanctioned individuals. These announcements come amid renewed tensions in eastern DRC.

Soukaina Sghir

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