February 1, 2014

UN Resumes DRC Sanctions, Wants M23 Leaders Arrested

M23 Commander Sultani Makenga (R) with his Men.
M23 Commander Sultani Makenga (R) with his Men.

The United Nations Security Council has resumed an arms embargo and sanctions regime for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The sanctions were resumed on Friday after the Security Council adopted a resolution for an arms embargo and related measures on the war-torn country.

The sanctions seek to put a travel ban and freezing of assets of all rebel leaders operating in DRC including Sultani Makenga, the military leader of the now defeated M23 rebel movement. Among other things discussed and approved by the Security Council is a ban on illegal poaching and gold mining from the Congo.

The sanctions come in light of a report by the UN Group Of Experts that was forwarded to the Security Council on Monday pinning Rwanda and Uganda for their continued support to the defeated and almost defunct M23 Rebel movement.

Uganda was accused of letting M23 leaders move freely within the Ugandan boundaries and non-compliance with requests for information. Uganda was also implicated in the report as the hub for illegal gold mined from the DRC.

Uganda has been the temporary home for over 1,400 soldiers of the M23 rebels including Sultani Makenga who surrendered in November to the UPDF.   Following their surrender, UPDF placed them under their care in Hima, Kasese District, though the whereabouts of Makenga remain only known to top military and security personnel.

The Group of Experts say in their report that Makenga together with other leaders of the rebel group have been moving around freely in Uganda and conducting recruitment in Rwanda. Both Ugandan and Rwandan governments have denied the claims.

Now the UN Security Council wants Uganda to arrest and handover to Congolese Judicial bodies all rebel leaders with arrest warrants that are in Uganda. Both Col. Sultani Makenga and Bertrand Bisimwa, the political head of the M23 Movement have arrest warrants against them from the DRC.

In an earlier interview with AFP, a French News Agency, President Yoweri Museveni said Uganda will not handover the rebels unless an agreement is reached on their re-integration into the Congolese army and society. Attempts to get a comment from the army spokesperson Lt Col Paddy Ankunda were futile as his known phone lines were switched off.

The Security Council also asked two Ugandan rebel groups operating in the DRC—the Allied Democratic Forces and Lord’s Resistance Army—to cease fire immediately and disband all the troops in their ranks.

5 thoughts on “UN Resumes DRC Sanctions, Wants M23 Leaders Arrested

    1. Shame on u, hope u are not a Ugandan, b’se if you were, you would leave UN politics alone and dwell on realities rather than insult a pan-African, Pres Museveni. Do you real think the DRC gvt is treating its Tusi (banyamulege) tribe fairly? How do you deny people citizenship? Were they responsible for the current boundaries in Africa? Do research and you will be surprised, multilateral companies all from US and Europe continue to siphon DRC resources and using Uganda as a scapegoat. By the time DRC wakes up It will be a poor country b’se it is literally a mortgaged state.

  1. The USA is the chief supporter of all this chaos. In fact Mr. OBAMA seems disinterested in solving this problem. Ok, they know who the antagonist in this region is, and that is Museveni and his cousin Kagame. They know he sponsors the m23. They know he holds Makenga, may be he hosts him as well. So, what prevents them to order m7 to hand him over OR else? See, this is why these people have no interest in solving this issue. They have no interest in Africans living in peace. Obama just talks about peace corps exchanges and training young Africans in democracy as if this will bring about change and peace for Africans. What good does it make when you still support the chief antagonist m7? Mr. Obama,through your inaction, millions of Africans have perished. Because you ally yourself with these killers, your hands as well is soiled in blood of these innocent people. All you do is talk a good game, but do nothing, and behind the curtains, you cut deals with killers. You have all these years supported m7 and with that SUSAN RICE, nothing is gonna be done about m7. The killers are gonna rampage even more, knowing they have a supporter in white house.

  2. How does the UN arrest the M23 rebels leader while he is having shelter in the houses known by Museveni in Uganda.

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