“The United States is committed to promoting a peaceful resolution to the escalation of conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Treasury will not hesitate to hold accountable actors committing human rights abuses and exacerbating this already dire humanitarian situation.”
The current escalation of conflict began in November 2021, when the Rwanda-backed M23 (March 23 Movement) occupied portions of the North Kivu province of the DRC, prompting the Congolese military (FARDC) and several non-state armed groups, including the sanctioned Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), to respond.
The FDLR is a predominantly ethnic Hutu-armed militia group operating in the DRC. On January 3, 2013, OFAC sanctioned both the FDLR and M23 pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413 for having committed serious crimes involving the targeting of children in the conflict in the DRC, including recruitment as well as killing, maiming, and sexual violence. M23 was also designated for receiving arms and materiel related to military activities that contributed directly to the conflict at the time.
Individuals sanctioned include the FDLR’s defense commissioner and a Brigadier General in in charge of intelligence, as well as the leader of the the FDLR-affiliated Maccabe group, formerly known as the Commando de Recherche et D’Action en Profondeur(CRAP). Additional individuals named include a Colonel in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a Brigadier General of the Rwandan defense forces (RDF)