US Imposes Tough Sanctions on Joseph Kony Sons Over Ivory Trafficking
The US says it has imposed economic sanctions on Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony’s two sons, accusing them of being involved in trafficking ivory.
Salim Kony and Ali Cony were LRA commanders who played “critical roles” in trafficking of ivory from Garamba National Park in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo through the Central African Republic (CAR) to Sudan’s disputed region of Kafia Kingi for sale or trade with local merchants, the US treasury said in a statement.
“Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Salim Kony and Ali Kony, sons of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13667 for acting for or on behalf of the LRA and/or Joseph Kony,” the statement issued Tuesday reads in part.
Any assets that the two men had in the US would be be frozen and US citizens were “generally” prohibited from doing business with them, the treasury said.
The LRA was formed in Uganda, but was driven out by government forces.
Its fighters now roam the vast jungles in the region.
Salim Kony and Ali Kony Role According to The US
Salim and Ali Kony, who have been part of the LRA’s leadership hierarchy since 2010, are part of a group of Kony’s senior LRA officers. Ali, seen as a potential successor to Joseph Kony, is predominantly involved in LRA operational planning and its intelligence apparatus. Salim has taken over most of the LRA’s field operations as the head commander of the LRA’s “field headquarters,” and manages the LRA’s financial and logistical networks. In that role, Salim has also planned LRA attacks and defensive measures alongside Joseph Kony. Salim and Ali have been jointly responsible for enforcing discipline within the LRA, and Salim is reported to have killed LRA members who intended to defect.
Since 2014, the LRA has utilized elephant poaching and ivory trafficking to generate revenue to purchase weapons and ammunition that are, in turn, used to continue the group’s attacks against civilians across Central Africa.
Salim and Ali have played critical roles in the LRA’s trafficking of ivory from Garamba National Park in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through the CAR to the disputed region of Kafia Kingi for sale or trade with local merchants. While Salim coordinates the transport of ivory, Ali is responsible for negotiating ivory prices and either selling the ivory for U.S. dollars or Sudanese pounds, or for trading the ivory for weapons, ammunition, and food with merchants in Kafia Kingi. In June 2014, Salim entered the DRC with LRA fighters to poach elephants in Garamba and to uncover caches of ivory that had been hidden there years earlier. The following month, Salim participated in the transport of the ivory – 52 pieces in all – to Kafia Kingi, while Ali oversaw the operation to move and deliver the ivory to Joseph Kony in Kafia Kingi for ultimate sale. In addition, Salim participated in the transport of twenty pieces of ivory from the DRC to Kafia Kingi in May 2015.