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Sweden Explains It All: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

This is the history of the EU Congo sanctions:

The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has long been very serious, with an armed conflict still in progress in the eastern parts of the country contributing to a difficult security situation for the civilian population. Conflicting political ambitions, underlying economic interests and interference from regional actors undermine the peace efforts. The illegal mining of the country's natural resources plays a key role in the financing of the conflicts in the east and is therefore closely linked to the causes and duration of the conflicts.

In July 2003 the UN Security Council introduced sanctions against the Kivu provinces and the Ituri district in the eastern parts of the DRC. Violence in these areas of the country and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law were considered to pose a threat to international peace and security (see UN Security Council Resolution 1493 (2003)). Initially, an arms embargo was introduced aimed at this specific part of the country, although it did not apply to the UN peacekeeping mission MONUC, which has now been replaced by the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). In light of the continued illicit flow of weapons in the DRC, additional sanctions were introduced in 2005 which then applied to the entire country. Resolution 1596 (2005) expanded the arms embargo to apply to recipients throughout the DRC's territory, while exempting the government's security forces under certain conditions, prohibited technical and financial assistance in connection with the arms embargo, introduced travel bans for and froze the assets of certain persons and entities. Certain restrictions were also introduced on air traffic in the most troubled provinces of eastern Congo. Since then, several UN resolutions have been adopted and the sanctions against the DRC have subsequently been modified and extended.

The EU has implemented the sanctions that have been adopted by the UN Security Council.

and what they entail:

1. Arms embargo, etc.

It is prohibited to directly or indirectly provide, sell or transfer arms and related materiel, including ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment or related spare parts to all non-state entities and individuals in the territory of the DRC. It is also prohibited to offer technical and financial assistance in connection with the arms embargo. These sanctions do not apply to materiel intended solely for support to the UN stabilisation mission in the DRC (MONUSCO). Also, non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use is allowed to be provided. The UN Security Council has established a Sanctions Committee for the DRC to handle issues related to exemptions from the arms embargo. Exemptions must be reported to and approved by this Committee in order to be approved by the competent national authority.

2. Travel restrictions

The persons listed are prohibited from entry into, or transit through, the EU. Persons who may be subject to listing include those who violate the arms embargo, political and military leaders of both Congolese and foreign armed groups who impede disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, or those who recruit or use children in armed conflict as well as persons who commit serious crimes against children or women in situations of armed conflict, prevent humanitarian access, illegally support armed groups in eastern DRC through the illicit trade of natural resources, act for or on behalf of a listed person or participate in attacks on MONUSCO. The list of the persons concerned is drawn up and amended by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee for the DRC, which can also grant exemptions in some cases. The EU implements the decisions of the Sanctions Committee on an ongoing basis.

3. Freezing of assets

All assets and economic resources belonging to listed persons or entities are to be frozen. It is also prohibited to place assets or economic resources at their disposal. The criteria for the listing of persons and, where appropriate, entities are the same as for travel restrictions. As mentioned with regard to travel restrictions, the list is drawn up and amended by the Sanctions Committee. The EU implements the decisions of the Sanctions Committee on an ongoing basis. Certain exceptions from the freezing of assets may be permitted for humanitarian purposes, etc.

And the relevant EU decisions:

The sanctions are now collected in Council Decision 2010/788/CFSP, which also contains a list of the persons and entities subject to travel restrictions and the freezing of assets. Council Decision 2012/811 introduced additional and partially adjusted criteria for such measures and a further exemption from the provision on travel restrictions. Furthermore, additional persons were added to the list. Amendments to this list have also been made on an ongoing basis through Council Implementing Decision 2011/699/CFSP, 2011/848/CFSP and 2013/46/CFSP, in accordance with decisions of the Sanctions Committee. The parts of the arms embargo pertaining to EU law (prohibition of technical and financial assistance) are regulated in Council Regulation (EC) No 889/2005, amended by Council Regulations (EC) Nos 1377/2007 and 666/2008. The freezing of assets is covered by Council Regulation (EC) No 1183/2005, amended by Council Regulation (EU) No 521/2013. Amendments to the list in the Annex to Council Regulation (EC) No 1183/2005 of the persons and entities subject to the regulations on the freezing of assets have been made on an ongoing basis through the Commission implementing regulations (EU) Nos 7/2012, 1251/2012 and 53/2013 in accordance with the decisions of the Sanctions Committee.


Sweden DRC sanctions page


Categories: DRC (Congo) Sanctions EU Updates Sanctions Programs Sanctions Regulations


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