US blacklists DRCongo general and three rebel leaders

Soldier of the FARDC (Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) sit on a military vehicle in an area of exchanges of fire with members of the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) in Opira, North Kivu. (AFP)
Updated 05 February 2018

US blacklists DRCongo general and three rebel leaders

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Monday slapped economic sanctions on a Congolese general accused of cooperating with rebel groups, as well as three rebel commanders in the country’s turbulent eastern region.
The Treasury said Muhindo Akili Mundos, a general in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and an ally of President Joseph Kabila, had “cooperated profitably” with rebel groups in North Kivu province in 2014 when he was supposed to be working together with the United Nations stabilization mission for the region.
Mundos failed to intervene to stop rebel abductions and mass killings. In addition, the Treasury said, he “recruited and equipped former fighters from local armed groups who participated in killings and massacres.”
Also placed on the sanctions blacklist were escaped prisoner Gedeon Kyungu Mutanga, leader of the Kata Katanga rebels in Katanga province; Guidon Shimiray Mwissa, who heads the Nduma Defense of Congo-Renove (NDC-R) in North Kivu; and Lucien Nzabamwita, a military leader of the Rwandan rebel group FDLR.
“We are targeting human rights abusers perpetuating the horrific conflict in the eastern DRC who have contributed to the tremendous suffering of the Congolese people,” said senior Treasury official John Smith in a statement.
“The United States stands in solidarity with the Congolese people against those who destabilize the region.”
The sanctions block any US citizens and businesses from doing business with those listed, as freezes any assets they may have under US jurisdiction.
Over the past four days the United Nations and France also imposed sanctions on Mondos and the three militia leaders.
Mondos was singled out for his alleged complicity in the killings of at least 400 civilians in 2104-2015 by the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Islamist group.
Mundos “recruited and equipped ex-combatants from local armed groups to participate in extrajudicial executions and massacres by the Allied Democratic Forces,” the UN peacekeeping mission to the country said.


In Bolivia desperate family leaves coffin in the street

Updated 04 July 2020

In Bolivia desperate family leaves coffin in the street

  • The Andean nation has reported 36,818 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,320 deaths

LA PAZ, Bolivia: The rising toll of COVID-19 deaths is overwhelming the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, where desperate relatives of one apparent victim of the new coronavirus left his coffin in the street for several hours on Saturday to protest difficulties in getting him buried.
Neighbor Remberto Arnez said the 62-year-old man had died on Sunday and his body had been in his home ever since, “but that’s risky because of the possible contagion.”
After a few hours, funeral workers showed up and took the coffin to a cemetery.
Police Col. Iván Rojas told a news conference that the city is collecting “about 17 bodies a day. This is collapsing the police personnel and funeral workers” in the city of some 630,000 people.
“The crematorium oven is small, that that is where the bodies are collecting,” said national Labor Minister Óscar Mercado, who told reporters that officials were preparing 250 new burial plots in the city’s main cemetery.
The Andean nation has reported 36,818 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,320 deaths.