the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET on the Democratic Republic of the Congo Executive Order

President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) that amends E.O. 13413 of October 27, 2006, to take additional steps in light of the continued threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  This new E.O. expands the sanctions criteria to allow for more U.S. flexibility in targeting persons contributing to the conflict in the DRC, as well as to conform more closely to the criteria established in relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, including, most recently, Resolution 2136 of January 30, 2014.

The United States continues to be deeply concerned about the situation in the DRC, which has been marked by activities that threaten the peace, security, and stability of the country and the surrounding region, including operations by armed groups, widespread violence and atrocities, human rights abuses, recruitment and use of child soldiers, attacks on peacekeepers, obstruction of humanitarian operations, and exploitation of natural resources to finance persons engaged in these activities. 

  • The E.O. adds the following new criteria that can be used to sanction persons responsible, directly or indirectly, for conduct including:
  • Actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
  • Actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
  • The targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of violence (including killing, maiming, torture, or rape or other sexual violence), abduction, forced displacement, or attacks on schools, hospitals, religious sites, or locations where civilians are seeking refuge, or through conduct that would constitute a serious abuse or violation of human rights or a violation of international humanitarian law;
  • The use or recruitment of children by armed groups or armed forces in the context of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
  • The obstruction of the delivery or distribution of, or access to, humanitarian assistance;
  • Attacks against United Nations missions, international security presences, or other peacekeeping operations;
  • Support to persons, including armed groups, involved in activities that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the Democratic Republic of the Congo or that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, through the illicit trade in natural resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This new E.O. also expands the current human rights-related designation criterion, which focuses on violence targeting children, to cover violence targeting women and other civilians and broadens the range of violent conduct for which sanctions could be imposed.