UN Sanctions two ADF Leaders for Escalating Violence in DRC

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Two Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) commanders are among the six rebel leaders the United Nations Security Council has sanctioned for escalating violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following intensified fighting between rebel forces and the country’s army.

In a statement released on February 20, 2024, Robert Wood, the United States deputy permanent representative to the UN, said they are pleased that, as of today, six additional armed group leaders will be designated by the UN DRC Sanctions Committee.

β€œThese individuals are responsible for numerous abuses,” Wood noted.

The sanctioned rebel leaders include Mahmood Hassan, alias Abu Waqas, and Mohamed Nkalubo, who are both senior leaders of the ADF and accused of masterminding bomb attacks in Uganda and causing multiple atrocities in the eastern DRC.

The United Nations committee imposed an arms embargo, travel ban, and asset freeze on the rebel leaders to counter the flow of funds and arms used in fueling conflict in the DRC.

Wood urged the international community to take immediate steps to end the fighting in the eastern Congo and de-escalate tensions between Congo and Rwanda, following the two countries blaming each other for the instability.

Other rebel leaders who have been sanctioned for similar crimes include Major Willy Ngoma, the military spokesman for the M23 rebel group, and Lt Gen Apollinaire Hakizimana, a Commissioner for Defense for the Forces DΓ©ocratiques de LibΓ©ration du Rwandaβ€”Forces Combattantes Abacunguzi (FDLR-FOCA). The rest are Michael Rukunda, the commander and military leader of the South Kivu-based armed group Twirwaneho; and William Amuri, the founder and leader of MAI-MAI YAKUTUMBA.

The sanctions are part of the measures the United Nations is employing to resolve the escalating conflicts in DRC.

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