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2 DRC militant groups subject to sanctions

Jan. 3, 2013 at 2:55 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Two militant groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been designated for sanctions, the U.S. Treasury said Thursday.

The Mouvement du 23 Mars and the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda were designated for using violence against children and for contributing to the ongoing violence in the African country, the Treasury Department said in a release.

The two groups, which operate in eastern DRC, have committed serious crimes target children, including recruitment as well as killing, maiming and sexual violence, that violate international law and are the basis for the groups' designation.

M23 also was designated for receiving arms and other goods related to military activities that contributed directly to the conflict.

The Treasury's action means U.S. individuals are barred from providing any support to M23 and the FDLR, and any assets of the two groups within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

"The United States is committed to working with the international community to end the violence perpetrated against children in the DRC and exposing those responsible for these atrocities," said David Cohen, undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. "We also urge Rwanda to halt its assistance to M23 and prevent any and all forms of support to Congolese armed groups."

The U.N. Security Council DRC Sanctions Committee Monday added M23 and the FDLR to its travel ban and asset freeze list. The United States and the Security Council previously designated several leaders of M23 and the FDLR for their roles in the conflict in the DRC.

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