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U.S. Treasury Department Sanctions M23 Rebel Leader

U.S. Department of the Treasury | Published on November 13, 2012
Colonel Sultani Makenga, center, a senior M23 leader, on a hill in eastern Congo, July 2012
Colonel Sultani Makenga, center, a senior M23 leader, on a hill in eastern Congo, July 2012 © 2012 AP Images | Enlarge
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Sultani Makenga pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, which targets persons contributing to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Makenga, the leader of the Congolese militant group Mouvement Du 23 Mars (M23), was designated for his recruitment and use of child soldiers in the conflict in the DRC in violation of applicable international law.  Sultani Makenga is also being designated for being the recipient – in the territory of the DRC – of arms and material related to military activities that have contributed directly to the ongoing conflict in the DRC.

"Sultani Makenga is responsible for extensive atrocities against the population in the DRC, including the recruitment of child soldiers, and campaigns of violence against civilians," said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. "Today's action reflects the international community's commitment to resolving the ongoing crisis in the region."

M23 is a militant group, led by Makenga, which operates in the eastern DRC and is made up of rebels from the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC).  Since the M23's formation, the group, under the guidance and leadership of Makenga, has been responsible for carrying out extensive atrocities against the civilian population of the DRC.

On June 19, 2012, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, stated in a news release that "the leaders of the M23 figure amongst the worst perpetrators of human rights violations in the DRC, or in the world for that matter. Many of them have appalling track records including allegations of involvement of mass rape, and of responsibility for massacres and for the recruitment and use of children."

As a result of Treasury's action, any assets of the individual designated today that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen. Additionally, U.S. persons are prohibited from conducting any transactions with Sultani Makenga.

Identifying Information

Name:  Makenga, Sultani
AKA:  Makenga, Colonel Sultani
AKA:  Makenga, Emmanuel Sultani
DOB:  25 Dec 1973
POB:  Rutshuru, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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