On July 28, 2023, the European Union (EU) sanctioned Rwandan and Congolese nationals responsible for or involved in the wars, massacres, human tragedies, and serious human rights violations in the Eastern of the DR Congo.
In the latest months, after a worldwide agreement on the invasion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) under the cover of the M23 rebels, the focus has been shifted to the actions the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, and other entities or governments plan to take against the Rwandan military leaders and. those responsible for the tragedy in the DRC. The actions by the EU appear to be the first step, as the United Nations Security Council has also been working on its list of individuals and organizations to be sanctioned. The question now is: when will the sanctions be enacted by the UN and extended by EU and who will be targeted?
Rwandan Defense Forces Top Military leaders being considered for sanctions for leading the invasion of DRC, under the Cover of M23 Rebels
The Rwandan Defense Forces troops invaded the DRC under the cover of M23 rebels. Based on the latest UN Experts' report, among the Rwandan military leaders facing the sanctions are:
- General James Kabarebe, current Defense and Security Adviser to the Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame, who designed and coordinated the invasion.
- Military leaders who designed the strategy and led the implementation of the operations: General Jean Bosco Kazura, Lieutenant General Mubarakh Muganga, Major General Franck Mugambage, Major General Vincent Nyakarundi aka Nyagatindi or "the Miserable", Major General Ruki Karusisi, Major General Eric Murokore, and Brigadier General Rugumyangabo Gacinya;
- Brigadier General Andrew Nyanvumba: Coordination of on ground operations by RDF special and reserve forces:
- Command of deployed RDF troops 201st and 301st brigades, RDF special forces: Major General Ruki Karusisi, Major General Alexis Kagame, Major General Emmy Ruvusha, and Captain Niragire Jean Pierre, alias Gasasira.
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Who are targeted by the latest sanctions by the European Union?
According to the EU statements released on July 28, 2023, the sanctions target "members of non-state armed groups... namely M23, Twirwaneho, ADF, APCLS, CODECO/ALC, FDLR/FOCA as well as one member of the Congolese Armed Forces and one member of the Rwanda Defense Force".
The EU Sanctions have focused on a few individuals, for now. Altogether, EU sanctions in DRC now apply to a total of 24 individuals. According to the EU statement: "Altogether, EU restrictive measures related to human rights violations and electoral obstruction in the DRC now apply to a total of 24 individuals. Those designated are subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze. Furthermore, EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them."
Specifically, Captain Jean-Pierre Niragire, alias Gasasira, a well known commander of the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) special forces deployed in the North Kivu region of the DRC since May 2022, and already included in the list under examination by the United Nations Security Council, has been cited as one of the top military leaders sanctioned by EU.
The EU statement highlighted that Niragire "is therefore responsible for supporting the M23 armed group, which is fueling the armed conflict, instability and insecurity in Congo, in particular by supplying it with troops and equipment."
The questions now are:
- What is next for M23 rebels?
- As mentioned before, will more Rwanda military leaders be sanctioned by the international community for invading and committing crimes in the DRC, under the cover of M23 rebels? In fact, how can Captain Niragire Jean Pierre, alias Gasasira, who was ordered to deploy for the invasion be sanctioned, while the top commanders of the invading forces are not yet impacted?
- What is next for Paul Kagame's regime?
AfroAmerica Network is still following the dynamics at the UN, EU, and other entities, and getting more information from several sources close to leaders of DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, and SADC.
@AfroAmerica Network 2023
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