The US Department of the Treasury sanctioned three senior officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday.
The sanctions were permitted by an executive order signed by former president George W. Bush that authorizes sanctions on “Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
Corneille Yobeluo Nangaa, Norbert Basengezi Katintima and Marcellin Basengezi Mukolo were sanctioned after their actions “to obstruct and delay preparations for credible and inclusive elections,” according to Sigal Mandelker, the treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Nangaa was the president of the DRC’s National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI). Katintima was the vice-president, and Basengezi was a CENI advisor.
The officials were accused of causing election delays by embezzling funds. The election was originally scheduled to take place in December 2016 but was held two years later. CENI blamed “logistical obstacles” for the delays.
The Treasury Department said, “As a result of today’s actions, all of the designated persons’ assets within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”