DR Congo - US - Rwanda: US Government Imposes Sanctions Against Top Rwandan Military General Accused of Leading M23 Rebels in DRC

Felix Tshisekedi and Paul Kagame in Gisenyi, Rwanda on June 25, 2021

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  On August 24, 2023, The United States Government designated  and sanctioned a top Rwandan military  general.  The general,   Brigadier General Andrew Nyanvumba (a.k.a. NYAMVUMBA, Andre and a.k.a. NYAMVUMBA, Andrew), is among the top Rwandan military commanders  accused of leading the invasion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the cover of M23 Rebels.

 The sanctions against the Rwandan military general  were enacted a week after the  US Secretary of State Antony Blinken  called to puts pressure on Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame, regarding the invasion of the DRC. 

  Rwandan troops, under the cover of M23 rebels, have been responsible for the humanitarian crisis in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for more than a decade.  Since the beginning, AfroAmerica Network has reported, based on the sources within the Rwandan Government, that M23 rebels were just a cover of the Rwandan troops.  

Over the last 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 (EU), and other entities or governments plan to take against the Rwandan military leaders and. those responsible for the tragedy in the DRC.  

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. The  EU took the first step, as the United Nations Security Council has also been working on its list of individuals and organizations to be sanctioned.

Among those sanctioned by the EU was  Rwandan military commander Captain Niragire Jean Pierre, alias Gasasira, in charge of military operations in the DR Congo, according to the  report by UN Experts working in DRC Congo  ( see here UN - EU- DR Congo - Rwanda: Top Rwandan Military Leaders Sanctioned for Leading Invasion of the DRC).

However, after the EU  sanctions, the question remained on whether more  Rwanda military leaders will be sanctioned by the international community for invading and committing crimes in the DRC, under the cover of M23 rebels.  In fact, according to UN report,  Captain Niragire Jean Pierre, alias Gasasira, was ordered to deploy for the invasion be sanctioned. Hence, it was expected that the top commanders of the invading forces will also be impacted, in the future. 

Then, on August 15, 2023,  the US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had  a  call with Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame. The call focused on the situation along the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (see here DR Congo - US - Rwanda: US Government Imposes Sanctions Against Former DRC Officials and Puts Pressure on Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame.)



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 US Sanctions Against a Rwandan Military General: More to Come?

The call by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken,  and the sanctions by the US and EU are happening as the United Nations Security Council is still considering sanctions against Rwandan top military leaders involved in the invasion of the DRC, while European Union has already enacted some sanctions (UN - EU- DR Congo - Rwanda: Top Rwandan Military Leaders Sanctioned for Leading Invasion of the DRC).

The call  had fueled speculations on the next steps and the actions by the World powers and institutions, especially the United States, the African Union (AU), SADEC,  European Union, and the United Nations against the Rwanda government and its military leaders, especially the dictator Paul Kagame and his closest aides.

Just before the sanctions were made public, DRC  President Félix Tshisekedi  held a meeting  with a delegation from the United States Congress,  led by distinguished members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee,  Republican John James and Democrat Representative Sara Jacobs.

Following the meeting,  US Rep. Sara Jacobs said:  "We have come to show the support of the United States for the government of the DRC and to emphasize again the importance of our strategic relationship, which we want to be stronger and always warm,” while  US Rep. John James added:  “The greatest resource of the DRC is not its minerals but its people. So we talked about human rights, security, and the economy to help the Congolese people benefit from the wealth of the country”.

Hence, the US Democratic Republic of the Congo-related Designations, with   SPECIALLY DESIGNATED NATIONALS LIST UPDATE, that includes individuals  added by the  Office of Foreign Assets Control  (OFAC) which administers and enforces economic sanctions may be another step towards more actions.  On the list, Andrew Nyamvumba was added as follows:

 "NYAMVUMBA, Andrew (a.k.a. NYAMVUMBA, Andre), Kibagabaga Plot 9917, Nyarutarama, Kigali, Rwanda; DOB 01 Jan 1973; POB Kigali, Rwanda; alt. POB Kampala, Uganda; nationality Rwanda; citizen Rwanda; Gender Male; Passport RW01472 (Rwanda) (individual) [DRCONGO]."

With more details as follows: 
NYAMVUMBA, Andre (a.k.a. NYAMVUMBA, Andrew), Kibagabaga Plot 9917, Nyarutarama,  Kigali, Rwanda; DOB 01 Jan 1973; POB Kigali, Rwanda; alt. POB Kampala, Uganda; nationality Rwanda; citizen Rwanda; Gender Male; Passport RW01472 (Rwanda) (individual) [DRCONGO].

The attention has now shifted to other Rwandan Defense Forces top military leaders being considered for sanctions for leading the invasion of 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.

@AfroAmerica Network 2023



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