Press Release from the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States
The Permanent Missions to the United Nations of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States submitted to the Security Council’s Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three FDLR leaders and one individual responsible for targeting children in situations of armed conflict, to be added to the list of individuals and entities subject to a worldwide travel ban and asset freeze.
These four individuals are: Gaston IYAMUREMYE, Félicien NSANZUBUKIRE, Innocent ZIMURINDA and Leodomir MUGARAGU.
Members of the Committee agreed on 1 December 2010 that these four individuals be placed on the Committee’s list of designees for DRC sanctions.
These designations demonstrate the international community’s continued determination to fight against those who oppose the disarmament of rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and those responsible for the recruitment of children and serious human rights abuses.
The UN sanctions regime for DRC was renewed for a further 12 months on 29 November 2010 through the adoption of UNSCR 1952. As part of their work the Group of Experts have developed a clear set of due diligence guidelines for the minerals supply chain in eastern DRC. These guidelines, which the Security Council supported taking forward in SCR 1952, will help avoid financing further conflict in eastern DRC.
The Permanent Missions to the United Nations of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States will continue to work with members of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Sanctions Committee to identify the individuals and entities that meet the criteria in Resolution 1857 (2008).
The UN Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo is responsible for monitoring UN Member State implementation of the sanctions in place in the DRC. The Committee comprises all 15 members of the Security Council, and was authorized by Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1596 (2005) to list individuals and entities for an assets freeze and travel ban. The Committee decided on 1 December 2010 to list the four individuals named below, whose actions have undermined stability in the DRC. Their designation follows a request to the Committee from the Governments of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Those now under UNSC sanctions as a result of the Committee’s action today include:
1. Gaston IYAMUREMYE, born in 1948 in Musanze District (Northern Province), Rwanda. According to multiple sources, including the UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts, Gaston Iyamuremye is considered a core member of the FDLR military and political leadership and has become the group’s president. Gaston Iyamuremye also ran Ignace Murwanashyaka’s (previous President of the FDLR) office in Kibua, DRC until December 2009.
2. Félicien NSANZUBUKIRE, born in 1967 in Murama, Kinyinya, Rubungo, Kigali, Rwanda. Félicien Nsanzubukire has been a member of the FDLR since at least 1994 and operating in eastern DRC since October 1998. The UNSC DRC Sanction Committee’s Group of Experts reports that Félicien Nsanzubukire supervised and coordinated the trafficking of ammunition and weapons between at least November 2008 and April 2009 from the United Republic of Tanzania, via Lake Tanganyika, to FDLR units based in the Uvira and Fizi areas of South Kivu.
3. Innocent ZIMURINDA, born in 1975 or on September 1, 1972 , in Ngungu, Masisi Territory, North Kivu Province, DRC. Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was an officer in the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) which was integrated into the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) in early 2009.
According to multiple sources, Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda, in his capacity as one of the commanders of the FARDC 231st Brigade, gave orders that resulted in the massacre of over 100 Rwandan refugees, mostly women and children, during an April 2009 military operation in the Shalio area.
The UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts reported that Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was witnessed first hand refusing to release three children from his command in Kalehe, on August 29, 2009.
According to multiple sources, Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda, prior to the CNDP’s integration into FARDC, participated in a November 2008 CNDP operation that resulted in the massacre of 89 civilians, including women and children, in the region of Kiwanja.
In March 2010, 51 human rights groups working in eastern DRC posted a complaint online alleging that Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda was responsible for multiple human rights abuses involving the murder of numerous civilians, including women and children, between February 2007 and August 2007. Lt Col Innocent Zimurinda has also been accused in the same complaint to be responsible for the rape of a large number of women and girls.
According to a May 21, 2010, statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, Innocent Zimurinda has been involved in the arbitrary execution of child soldiers, including during operation Kimia II. According to the same statement, he denied access by the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) to screen troops for minors. According to the UNSC DRC Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts, Lt Col Zimurinda holds direct and command responsibility for child recruitment and for maintaining children within troops under his command.
4. Leodomir MUGARAGU, born in 1954 or 1953, in Kigali, Rwanda or Rushashi (Northern Province), Rwanda. According to open-source and official reporting, Leodomir Mugaragu is the Chief of Staff of the Forces Combattantes Abucunguzi/Combatant Force for the Liberation of Rwanda (FOCA), the FDLR’s armed wing. According to official reporting, Mugaragu is a senior planner for FDLR’s military operations in the eastern DRC.