Senate approves Congo sanctions

Nov. 30, 2012 at 5:45 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate has passed an amendment imposing economic sanctions on supporters of rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, its sponsors said.

The measure has been added to the Defense Spending Authorization Act, which is expected to be approved next week, the offices of U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Chris Coons, D-Del., said. It was adopted late Thursday.

"The civil war in eastern Congo is the most lethal conflict since the second world war and its barbarism defies description," Durbin said.

"Last week, a well-armed rebel forces occupied the city of Goma and have set their sights on Kinshasa, Congo's capital. The rebels, known for brutal violence and led by known war criminals, have the potential to destabilize the entire nation.

"As the violence continues to escalate, it is clear that the rebels are benefiting from strategic and material support from outside forces. This amendment freezes the assets and implements a visa ban for any person providing such troubling support. Our goal is to hasten an end to the violence by starving the rebels of their key lines of support."

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