The United States has taken steps to impose sanctions related to recent violence in both South Sudan and the Central African Republic. While the sanctions do not target the geographic territories (i.e., these countries as a whole are not subject to sanctions), they prohibit transactions with certain designated persons. These actions reflect the continued trend of the U.S. government to utilize such measures to penalize actors contributing to severe instability and violence.

The sanctions were imposed by executive orders requiring U.S. persons to block property interests of designated persons when such property is within the U.S., or within the possession or control of U.S. persons. The orders also grant the legal authority for future designations of persons who engage in certain sanctionable activities.

Companies doing business in this region should review their business activities to confirm that transactions do not involve persons or entities designated as a Specially Designated National (SDN). An entity in which an SDN has a 50% or greater interest is also blocked, regardless of whether it appears on an annex to an executive order or on the SDN list maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC also advises U.S. persons to act with caution when considering a transaction with a non-blocked entity in which a blocked person has a significant ownership interest, even though it is less than 50%.

South Sudan

On 3 April 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order 13664, declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat to the United States posed by the widespread violence in South Sudan. The order grants the Department of the Treasury the authority to designate persons determined to be responsible for or complicit in, or who have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following in or in relation to South Sudan:

  • actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan;
  • actions or policies that threaten transitional agreements or undermine democratic processes or institutions in South Sudan;
  • actions or policies that have the purpose or effect of expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan or obstructing reconciliation or peace talks or processes;
  • the commission of human rights abuses against persons in South Sudan;
  • the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of 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 South Sudan;
  • the obstruction of the activities of international peacekeeping, diplomatic, or humanitarian missions in South Sudan, or of the delivery or distribution of, or access to, humanitarian assistance; or
  • attacks against United Nations missions, international security presences, or other peacekeeping operations.

The Department of the Treasury is also authorized to designate persons determined

  • to be a leader of an entity, including a government, militia, or rebel group, that has, or whose members have, engaged in any of the activities described above, or an entity whose property is blocked pursuant to the order;
  • to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of any of the activities described above or any person whose property is blocked pursuant to the order; or
  • to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted on behalf of, any person whose property is blocked pursuant to the order.

On 6 May 2014, OFAC added two persons, on opposing sides of the ethnic violence in South Sudan, to its SDN List:

  1. GADET, Peter (a.k.a. GATDET, Peter; a.k.a. YAAK, Peter Gadet; a.k.a. YAAK, Peter Gatdet; a.k.a. YAK, Peter Gadet; a.k.a. YAKA, Peter Gatdeet; a.k.a. YAKA, Peter Gatdet); DOB 1957 to 1959; POB Mayon County Unity State; alt. POB Mayan, Unity State; General (individual) [SOUTH SUDAN].

  2. MANGOK, Marial Chanuong Yol (a.k.a. CHINOUM, Marial; a.k.a. CHINUONG, Marial; a.k.a. YOL, Marial Chanoung; a.k.a. “CHAN, Marial”); DOB 1 Jan 1960; POB Yirol, Lakes State; Commander, Presidential Guard Unit; Major General, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (individual) [SOUTH SUDAN].

Central African Republic

On 12 May 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13667 declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat to the United States posed by widespread violence in the Central African Republic. The order grants the Department of the Treasury the authority to designate persons determined to be responsible for or complicit in, or who have engaged in, directly or indirectly, any of the following in or in relation to the Central African Republic:

  • actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the Central African Republic;
  • actions or policies that threaten transitional agreements or the political transition process in the Central African Republic;
  • actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Central African Republic;
  • the targeting of women, children, or any civilians through the commission of acts of 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 Central African Republic;
  • 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; or
  • support to persons, including armed groups, involved in activities that threaten the peace, security, or stability of the Central African Republic or that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the Central African Republic through the illicit trade in natural resources of the Central African Republic.

The Department of the Treasury is also authorized to designate persons determined

  • to have directly or indirectly supplied, sold, or transferred to the Central African Republic, or been the recipient in the territory of the Central African Republic of, arms and related material, including military aircraft, and equipment, or advice, training, or assistance, including financial assistance;
  • to be a leader of an entity, including a government, militia, or rebel group, that has, or whose members have, engaged in any of the activities described above, or an entity whose property is blocked pursuant to the order;
  • to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of any of the activities described above or any person whose property is blocked pursuant to the order; or
  • to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted on behalf of, any person whose property is blocked pursuant to the order.

The Annex to Executive Order 13667 designates five individuals:

  1. BOZIZE, Francois (a.k.a. BOZIZE, Francois Yangouvonda; a.k.a. YANGOUVONDA, Bozize); DOB 14 Oct 1946; POB Gabon; Former President of the Central African Republic (individual) [CAR].

  2. DJOTODIA, Michel (a.k.a. DJOTODIA, Michel Am-Nondroko), Benin; DOB 1949; POB Vakaga Region, Central African Republic; nationality Central African Republic (individual) [CAR].

  3. ADAM, Noureddine (a.k.a. ADAM, Nourreddine; a.k.a. ADAM, Nourredine; a.k.a. ADAM, Nourreldine; a.k.a. ADAM, Nureldine); DOB 1969 to 1971; POB Ndele, Central African Republic; nationality Central African Republic; General; Former Minister of Public Security (individual) [CAR].

  4. MISKINE, Abdoulaye (a.k.a. KOUMTAMADJI, Martin Nadingar; a.k.a. NKOUMTAMADJI, Martin); DOB 05 Oct 1965; alt. DOB 3 Mar 1965; POB Kobo, Central African Republic; alt. POB Ndinaba, Chad; nationality Chad; General (individual) [CAR].

  5. YAKITE, Levi (a.k.a. YAKETE, Levy; a.k.a. YAKITE, Levy), Cameroon; DOB 1965; Anti-Balaka Political Coordinator (individual) [CAR].