U.S. sanctions Congolese militants

Dec. 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Three members of a Rwandan liberation force and a Congolese colonel were sanctioned for their role in destabilizing the Congo, the U.S. government announced.

The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Gaston Iyamuremye, Leodomir Mugaragu and Felicien Nsanzubukire, three members of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, for their role in destabilizing the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Also designated was Innocent Zimurinda, a Congolese army leader who was singled out for his role in targeting children in a conflict zone.

"These four individuals are responsible for violence and instability in the eastern DRC and the region," OFAC Director Adam Szubin said in a statement. "Today, treasury joins the world community in sanctioning these men for their roles in a conflict that has been marked by widespread killing and displacement of civilians, sexual violence, and the recruitment and use of child soldiers."

The Treasury Department said the FDLR is the one of the most violent armed groups operating in the Congo. The militant group, as well as members of the Congolese military, was highlighted in a recent U.N. report that revealed mass rapes occurred in the area during the summer.

Zimurinda, for his part, was sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council on similar offenses.

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