Move follows EU sanctions on Congolese officials earlier this week, after Congo government has failed to implement Dec. 31 accord
Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) placed Democratic Republic of Congo’s army General François Olenga Tete and a company linked to him, Safari Club, on its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List.
General Olenga is one of President Joseph Kabila’s most senior military advisors and has been the chief procurer of arms for the regime for over a decade. Olenga was named Chief of Logistics of the army as far back as 1997, then promoted to Chief of Land Forces in 2012, and most recently appointed as the head of the Maison Militaire, a senior military advisory position to President Kabila.
Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.
Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “This regime is holding onto power illegally. Each of Kabila’s closest advisors plays a unique, essential role in maintaining that stronghold and cracking down on dissidents. It’s crucial that the EU and the US has issued designations on several of them now, including ten additional individuals this week. The regime has abandoned promises that would help pave the way to elections, and foreign pressure was needed. This week, the EU and US have delivered. Now it’s critical they ensure enforcement of these new designations, and support protection for activists and protesters demanding a democratic transition in Congo.”
Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The Congolese government has failed to implement the critical December 31 democratic transition agreement to date, so it is right for the United States, European Union, and African states to escalate pressure on the Kabila regime’s top advisors. The international community should continue to escalate financial pressure until the Kabila government implements the key benchmarks in the accord, from holding free and fair elections in 2017 to dropping charges against political prisoners.”
Earlier this week, the European Union imposed sanctions on nine high-level Congolese officials – adding to the seven officials sanctioned last year. The United States also placed sanctions on five high-level Congolese officials last year.
Read the Enough Project report “A Criminal State: Understanding and countering institutionalized corruption and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo“: http://eno.ug/2dFQUDt
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