EU implements UN amendments to CAR sanctions regime

EU Commission.jpgOn 30 January 2018, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2399 (2018), which (inter alia) amended the exemptions to the arms embargo and the designation criteria under its Central African Republic (CAR) sanctions regime. The EU has implemented those changes today by adopting Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/391 and Council Regulation (EU) 2018/387.

EU updates entry under DPRK and CAR sanctions lists

EU4In line with the UN Security Council, the EU has updated the entry of ‘Ri Su Yong’ under its North Korea sanctions list by adding the following statement: “Served as Korea Ryonbong General Corporation representative in Cuba”. See Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/331 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/324. UK OFSI Notice here.

The EU has also updated the entry of ‘François Yangouvonda Bozizé’ under its Central African Republic sanctions list by adding, among other things, his title (‘Former Head of State Central African Republic’ and ‘Professor’) and details of a further alias (‘Samuel Peter Mudde’). See Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/332 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/325. UK OFSI Notice here.

UN extends sanctions against CAR

UN1The UN Security Council has passed UNSC Resolution 2399 (2018), which extends its sanctions regime against the Central African Republic (CAR). As a result, the existing arms embargo, travel bans and asset freezes will continue to operate until 31 January 2019. UN press release here.

OFAC sanctions illicit facilitators of Lord’s Resistance Army (CAR)

OFAC2OFAC has designated two individuals, Okat Lukwang and Musa Hatari, pursuant to Executive Order 13667, which targets certain persons “contributing to the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR), including those that support armed groups involved in activities that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the CAR through the illicit trade of natural resources.” Both designated persons are stated to have “facilitated the transfer of ivory, weapons, and money in support of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)”.

OFAC designated the LRA and the group’s leader, Joseph Kony, in March 2016 for “targeting civilians in the CAR through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, and forced displacement” (see previous blog here). Links available for the OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

EU Court upholds conflict diamonds CAR asset freeze

Companies buying and selling diamonds challenged the EU implementation of their UN sanctions listing in 2015 for “providing support for armed groups or criminal networks through the illicit exploitation or trade of natural resources in the Central African Republic”. Badica and Kardiam said the EU had not established that those grounds were correct, and that the EU had simply reproduced the UN Security Council’s reasoning, without performing its own analysis.  The EU General Court has rejected their claim, finding that even though there was insufficient evidence to establish support to armed groups through trade in goods, there was sufficient evidence that Badica and Kardiam had continued to buy diamonds from the CAR after the export ban imposed by the Kimberley process.  The judgment is here – Case T-619/15 Central African Republic Diamond Purchasing Office v Council and the Court’s press release is here.

EU implements UN additions to its terrorism and CAR sanctions

The EU has added Fared Saal to its sanctions on ISIL & Al-Qaida, implementing a UN listing from earlier this month.  Fared Saal is said to be a member of ISIL, who has taken part in attacks that led to the deaths of large numbers of civilians. See Commission Implementing Regulation 2017/1094 amending Council Regulation 881/2002.

It has also implemented the UN’s listing of Hissene Abdoulaye on its sanctions against the Central African Republic (see previous blog).  He is said to have become one of the main leaders of armed militias in the country’s capital Bangui. See Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1090 implementing Council Regulation 224/2014 and Council Implementing Decision 2017/1103 implementing Council Decision 2013/798/CFSP.

UK implements UN CAR listing

The UK has added Hissene Abdoulaye to its consolidated list of Central African Republic sanctions targets so he is now subject to an asset freeze.  He was added to the UN’s sanctions last month (see previous blog).  He has not yet been added to the EU’s CAR sanctions list implementing UN listings. HM Treasury’s notice is here.

USA – Zimbabwe de-listing & CAR designations

Zimbabwe

OFAC has removed Zimbabwe’s former Minister of Water Resources Munacho Mutezo from its SDN List. Mr Mutezo’s removal follows his expulsion from the ZANU-PF party for supporting Joice Mujuru, former Vice-President who was expelled following accusations that he tried to depose President Mugabe. The circumstances of Mr Mutezo’s de-listing are similar those of Sylvester Nguni in November 2016, another former ZANU-PF member who, like Mr Mutezo, joined the opposition party Zimbabwe People First after his explusion from ZANU-PF (see previous blog).

Central African Republic

OFAC has designated Abdoulaya Hissene and Maxime Mokom under its CAR sanctions for engaging in actions that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the CAR. They are both said to have been involved in failed coup attempts, preventing people from voting, and lethal violence involving civilians and security forces.