OFAC sanctions DRC police commissioner

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”.

This entry was posted in Democratic Republic of the Congo, USA by Maya Lester QC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Maya Lester QC

Maya Lester QC has a wide ranging practice in public law, European law, competition law, international law, human rights & civil liberties. She has a particular expertise in sanctions. As the most recent (2016) Chambers & Partners directory put it, she "owns the world of sanctions". She spent 2011-12 in New York at Columbia Law School lecturing and writing on sanctions. She represents and advises hundreds of companies and individuals before the European and English courts and has acted in most of the leading cases, including Kadi, Tay Za, Central Bank of Iran, NITC and IRISL.

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