U.S. Gov: Treasury Sanctions Two Individuals for Threatening the Stability of and Undermining Democratic Processes in The Democratic Republic of the Congo (28.09.2016)
Action Targets Current and Former Government Officials
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two individuals, Gabriel Amisi Kumba and John Numbi, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by E.O. 13671, following increasing indications that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to suppress political opposition in the country, often through violent means. Specifically, OFAC designated John Numbi for engaging in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the DRC, and Gabriel Amisi Kumba for being the leader of an armed group that has threatened the peace, security, or stability of the DRC. As a result of today’s actions, all of the designated individuals’ assets within U.S. jurisdiction are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
“These current and former Democratic Republic of the Congo government officials have engaged in actions that undermine democratic processes in the DRC and repress the political rights and freedoms of the Congolese people, risking further and more widespread instability in the DRC, and the broader Great Lakes region,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director. “Today’s action builds on the United States’ continued commitment to disrupt this destructive behavior and foster a better and more stable future for the DRC and the Congolese people. Today’s action is not directed at the people of DRC. It is intended to alter the behavior of the targeted individuals.”
DRC state agents have reportedly continued to violate human rights and fundamental freedoms, have engaged in politically motivated detentions of members of civil society and opposition representatives, and have used excessive force in response to demonstrations. In several areas of the country, defense and security forces have violently repressed demonstrations organized to oppose a new draft electoral law that many fear would allow President Kabila to run for a third term.
Gabriel Amisi Kumba
Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba (Amisi) is a Commander in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC). He is the leader of FARDC units in the First Defense Zone, which covers the provinces of Bandudu, Bas Congo, Equateur, and Kinshasa. These units have reportedly engaged in violent repression of political demonstrations. Increasing violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly have been reported in the western provinces, particularly in Kinshasa. FARDC soldiers have used excessive force and lethal weapons during demonstrations and political rallies, particularly during demonstrations organized by opposition leaders and civil society actors in January 2015.
In August 2014, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) reportedly denounced the fact that no judicial investigation had been opened against Amisi.
General John Numbi (Numbi) is the former National Inspector for the Congolese National Police. During the March 2016 gubernatorial elections in the DRC’s four ex-Katangan provinces, Numbi used violent intimidation to secure victories for candidates affiliated with President Kabila’s MP coalition. Numbi threatened to kill opposition candidates who did not voluntarily withdraw from the race, and on the same day these exchanges purportedly took place, three candidates withdrew. Numbi also reportedly gave provincial deputies a unique numeric code to write on each of their ballots so he could verify their votes after the election. Though he is no longer a DRC Government official, Numbi is reportedly an influential advisor to President Kabila.