Central Africa: U.S. Treasury Sanctions Lord's Resistance Army Facilitators Involved in the Illicit Trade of Ivory, Weapons, and Money in Central Africa

Photo: Daily News
Ivory.
press release

U.S. Department of the Treasury
Office of Public Affairs
Press Release
December 13, 2017

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Okot Lukwang and Musa Hatari pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 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 facilitated the transfer of ivory, weapons, and money in support of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

“Treasury will continue to target armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army and their support networks that rely on the global ivory trade and wildlife trafficking to finance their violent campaigns,” said OFAC Director John E. Smith.  “The U.S. government will not tolerate the actions of those who finance destabilizing activities in central Africa, and we appreciate the cooperation of the governments of Sudan and Uganda to degrade the threat posed by the LRA.”

As a result of this action, all property and interests in property of those designated today subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

On March 8, 2016, OFAC designated the LRA and the group’s leader Joseph Kony pursuant to E.O. 13667 for targeting civilians in the CAR through the commission of acts of violence, abduction, and forced displacement.  On August 23, 2016, OFAC designated Joseph Kony’s sons Salim Kony and Ali Kony for acting for or on behalf of the LRA and Joseph Kony.

Okot Lukwang and Musa Hatari

Lukwang is being designated for activities including acting as the LRA’s intelligence officer and overseeing supply logistics for Joseph Kony’s LRA group, which maintains command and control over three other LRA groups and is composed of his most trusted personnel.  Lukwang has coerced civilians to provide him with information on military forces in the area and provided Joseph Kony and other LRA commanders with intelligence reports.  Lukwang has also run day-to-day operations of Joseph Kony’s LRA group.

In addition, Lukwang acted as the LRA’s ivory broker, in charge of selling or trading the LRA’s ivory for U.S. dollars, Sudanese pounds, food, weapons, and ammunition, including rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun ammunition.  Joseph Kony entrusted Lukwang with the location of hidden tusk caches and used Lukwang and Ali Kony to deal with Darfur-area traders who purchased LRA-trafficked ivory.

Hatari is the primary supplier of ammunition, mines, weapons, food, supplies, and other goods to the LRA.  Hatari, the owner of five shops in the Songo Market in the disputed region of Kafia Kingi, has traded with the LRA since at least 2013.  Hatari buys regularly from the LRA, has sold or traded ivory from the LRA at the Songo Market, and has promised to trade anything the LRA wants for ivory.

In May 2015, Lukwang, Ali Kony, and a third LRA commander met with Hatari and other merchants to purchase supplies and plan additional trades.  Lukwang translated between the LRA and the merchants to trade ivory for supplies.

The U.S. Department of State French Language Spokesperson Brian Neubert is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Please direct interview requests or questions to AFMediaHub@state.gov.

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