Sanctions Target Two M23 Leaders for Using Child Soldiers and Engaging in Other Activities Contributing to the Ongoing Conflict in the DRC
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated two senior leaders of the Congolese militant group Mouvement Du 23 Mars (M23), Baudoin Ngaruye and Innocent Kaina, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, which targets persons contributing to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Baudoin Ngaruye and Innocent Kaina are being designated for their involvement in the recruitment and use of child soldiers in the conflict in the DRC and for being leaders of a group that is impeding the disarmament, repatriation, or resettlement of combatants. Ngaruye is also being designated pursuant to E.O. 13413 for acts involving the targeting of children in the conflict in the DRC, including through killing, maiming, and sexual violence which violate international law. On November 30, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) DRC Sanctions Committee added Ngaruye and Kaina to its consolidated travel ban and asset freeze list.
“M23 leaders Ngaruye and Kaina are responsible for carrying out terrible acts of violence against civilians and children in the DRC,” said Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Director Adam J. Szubin. “We will continue to work with our partners in the international community to bring about an end to this conflict.”
M23 is a militant group that operates in the eastern DRC and is made up of rebels who defected from the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC). Since the M23’s formation, the group, under the guidance and leadership of Ngaruye and Kaina, among others, has been responsible for carrying out extensive atrocities against the civilian population of the DRC, and its activities have dramatically undermined peace efforts in the region.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, and numerous human rights groups have condemned the human rights abuses committed by M23 and its leadership. In June, Commissioner Pillay specifically identified Ngaruye and Kaina as responsible for a range of human rights abuses, including: the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, the massacre and disappearance of civilians, and the abduction and mass rape of women. “Every effort must be made to hold these men, and the soldiers under their command, accountable for human rights violations committed against civilians -- both for crimes committed within the context of the current mutiny, and also for offences committed previously,” Pillay said.
As a result of Treasury’s action, any assets of the individuals designated today that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen. Additionally, U.S. persons are prohibited from conducting transactions with Ngaruye or Kaina.
Name: Innocent Kaina
AKA: Innocent Kayna
POB: Bunagana, Rutshuru territory, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Name: Baudoin Ngaruye
AKA: Baudouin Ngaruye Mpumuro
AKA: Baudoin Akangaruye Wa Myamuro
AKA: Baudoin Ngaruye
POB: Lusamambo, Lubero territory, Democratic Republic of the Congo