24 August 2016

Central African Republic: U.S. Imposes Sanctions Against Kony's Sons

The U.S. Treasury has imposed financial sanctions against two sons of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group fighting a bloody war in Central Africa.

The Treasury on Tuesday froze all assets in the United States belonging to Salim and Ali Kony, and prohibited Americans from doing business with them. Similar sanctions were imposed on Joseph Kony in March.

"Our initiatives that target the finances of the LRA and its leaders, while combating their involvement in illicit ivory trade, are part of the concerted international effort to fight against violence in the Central African Republic," said John Smith, acting director of the branch of the Treasury in charge of financial sanctions.

Salim and Ali Kony have been part of the hierarchy of the LRA since 2010. Ali is seen as a potential successor to his father. Both sons are responsible for enforcing discipline within the group. Treasury officials said Salim is suspected of killing members of the LRA who wanted to leave the insurgency.

Since 2014, the LRA has utilized elephant poaching and ivory trafficking to generate revenue to purchase weapons and ammunition that are, in turn, used to continue the group's attacks against civilians across Central Africa.

Salim and Ali Kony have played critical roles in the LRA's trafficking of ivory from Garamba National Park in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo through the Central African Republic for sale to local merchants.

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