OFAC has added Céléstin Kanyama, police commissioner for the Congolese capital city Kinshasa, to its SDN List for his alleged role in the violence in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kanyama is said to have been responsible for extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances in Kinshasa, creating a climate of fear in which at least 50 young men and boys were killed and over 30 were “disappeared”. More recently, over 40 people are said to have been killed by his security forces during demonstrations against changes to electoral law that many Congolese thought would allow President Kabila to exceed the limit of two terms in office.
The US Treasury’s press release stresses that the sanctions are “not directed at the people of DRC”, but are “intended to alter the behaviour of individuals”. Acting Director of OFAC John Smith adds that “As President Kabila’s constitutionally limited term nears its end in December, the regime has engaged in a pattern of repression”.