Following the lead of the European Union, Switzerland has extended its sanctions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The measures, which took effect on Wednesday evening, include financial sanctions against 14 people – who are also banned from entering Switzerland.
The sanctions affect various incumbent and former DRC ministers and provincial governors, as well as high-ranking members of the Republican Guard, the Congolese military, the police and intelligence services. The 14 individuals are accused of hindering elections in the DRC through acts of violence, repression, incitement to violence and violation of the rule of law. They are also accused of serious human rights violations.
Their Swiss-based funds and other assets have been frozen. In addition, they may no longer enter Switzerland or travel through Switzerland.
In order to implement UN Security Council resolutions, the Swiss government already adopted sanctions against the DRC in June 2005. These included an arms embargo and financial and travel sanctions against the political and military leaders of foreign armed groups and Congolese militias, as well as against weapon smugglers.
“As the political situation in the DRC remains very tense, the Federal Council decided to extend these sanctions in line with the EU,” noted a government media statementexternal link on Wednesday.