The U.S. Department of Treasury recently announced the addition of two high-level M23 leaders, Eric Badege and Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero, to its list of specially designated nationals, or SDN, already sanctioned by the U.S. government for their involvement in the rebellion rocking eastern Congo. As a result of the Treasury Department's designation, in addition to being prohibited from travelling internationally and having their assets frozen under U.N. sanctions, Badega and Runiga are cut off from trade with any U.S. persons or entities, potentially circumscribing their operations, which are financed by the minerals trade.
At the end of last year, the U.N. Security Council strongly condemned the March 23 Movement, or M23, for attacks on the civilian population of eastern Congo. In Security Council Resolution 2078, the U.N. also expressed its intention to consider additional targeted sanctions against M23 leadership. On December 31, 2012, the Security Council Sanctions Committee announced sanctions against Badega and Runiga and confirmed an arms embargo against M23 and the FDLR broadly. Relying on a U.N. Group of Experts report outlining human rights violations committed by Badege and Runiga, the U.N. Security Council's Sanctions Committee specifically cited instances of murder, maiming, and rape, committed or encouraged by Badege, against women and children, as one of its central reasons for imposing sanctions.
The Group of Experts also found that by the end of 2012, Badege had become a prominent commander within the M23 forces operating in North Kivu and was conducting damaging coordinated attacks that "enabled M23 to destabilize a considerable part of Masisi territory" in ...[view whole blog post ]