Leaders of the M23 Militant Group Targeted for Contributing to the Ongoing Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated two senior leaders of the Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) militant group, which foments violence and instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). M23 was designated by the Department of the Treasury on January 3, 2013. This action against Eric Badege and Jean-Marie Runiga Rugerero was taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, which targets persons contributing to the conflict in the DRC.
“The United States is committed to working with the international community to end the violence that destabilizes communities in the DRC and the atrocities perpetrated by armed groups against children. Today’s designations underscore the United States’ determination to deny impunity for these despicable acts,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.
Eric Badege is a military commander of M23, and has led a series of attacks that involved the killing of civilians.
Jean-Marie Runiga Rugerero (Runiga) is the leader of the political wing of M23. In that capacity, he has led M23 delegations and issued demands to the Congolese government that included the resignation of Congolese President Kabila and the dissolution of the national assembly. Runiga indicated that if given the opportunity, M23 could retake the city of Goma.
The UN Security Council’s Democratic Republic of the Congo Sanctions Committee recently listed the M23 group and several M23 senior leaders, including Runiga and Badege, on its consolidated asset freeze and travel ban list.
M23 is an armed group operating in eastern DRC which has fomented violence and instability in the country. The group has committed serious violations of international law involving the targeting of children in the conflict and is responsible for campaigns of horrific violence against the DRC’s civilian population. M23 has used its resources to undermine peace efforts in the region and has taken control of large parts of eastern DRC, and continues to impede the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of combatants in the conflict.
Name: Eric Badege
Date of Birth: 1971
Title: Lieutenant Colonel
Alternate Title: Colonel
Name: Jean-Marie Runiga Rugerero
AKA: Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero
Date of Birth: September 17, 1966
Place of Birth: Democratic Republic of the Congo