18 December 2012

Rwanda: U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing: Rwanda and the M23

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Washington, DC — Excerpt from the United States Department of State daily press briefing:

QUESTION: Just following on that, OFAC today named two other leaders of M23 onto their sanctions list, and I'm just curious. I mean, it just draws attention, again, to the fact that the U.S. has not sanctioned any senior Rwandan officials who the UN Committee on - experts, et cetera, are actually pulling the strings of this whole thing. So when are you guys - is there any - are you looking at any of the Rwandans? Are you considering expanding your sanctions list? Is that even under contemplation here?

MS. NULAND: Well, certainly we continue to review our list with regard to those supporting M23. You saw, as you just said, that we've just done some new designations. So we're continuing to look at this, we're continuing to talk to the Rwandans. In fact, Assistant Secretary Carson was in touch with the Rwandans earlier this week on M23 issues and the Kampala peace process. So we'll continue to look at it, Andy, but I don't have anything to announce today.

QUESTION: Can I just ask you on that point and dealing with the Rwandans, what do you think your U.S. sanctions would - where do you think they would have more impact? On senior members of the Rwandan military or Government who have cash, passports, ability to travel, often come to countries like the United States? Or two guys who hang out in the jungle with very - with probably not much more than what they have on their back and never leave the area?

MS. NULAND: Well, again, there are a variety of ways that these kinds of sanctions can come forward. They can come forward on individuals who we know are perpetrators of abuses. They can also come forward on people who we know aid and abet them. So we look at the whole -

QUESTION: I understand that, but -

MS. NULAND: -- landscape.

QUESTION: In which scenario would they be more effective?

MS. NULAND: Again, I think from our perspective it's important to look at both categories. It's also important to name names when there are people on the ground who are continuing to participate in human rights abuses with impunity.

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