The US Treasury Department has decided to impose a series of sanctions on 15 personalities, due to repeated human rights abuses. The former Gambian president and the Israeli businessman close to Joseph Kabila are targeted.
The United States has just published a list of personalities and businesses targeted by a component of economic sanctions. Issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department, this list includes the names of several well-known personalities on the African continent. Among them, two personalities stand out in particular: Dan Gertler , Israeli businessman and key player in the Congolese mining sector, and Yahya Jammeh , former president of The Gambia who took the road to exile last January after having tried to stay in power despite his defeat in the elections.
Immediate consequence for the people and companies targeted by this new American sanctions component: all their assets and bank accounts in the United States are seized or frozen. United States nationals are also prohibited from carrying out any transaction with sanctioned persons or entities.
Businessman and annoying friend
Close to the regime of Joseph Kabila , Dan Gertler is targeted by the US administration which accuses him of having benefited from “his relations with the Congolese head of state to act as an intermediary for the sale of mining assets in the DRC, imposing multinational companies to go through Gertler to do business with the Congolese state . “
According to the statement from the US Treasury Department, “the DRC has lost $ 1.36 billion in revenue because of the sale of these assets to offshore companies linked to Gertler”. Since his arrival in the Congo in the late 1990s, Dan Gertler has become the privileged interlocutor of mining groups, but his proximity to the regime of Joseph Kabila and the suspicion of bribes that target him have weakened his position these last months.
>>> READING – DR Congo: The embarrassing Dan Gertler
After years of commercial relations, Swiss commodity giant Glencore decided in April to distance itself from the controversial Israeli businessman. The company, led by South Africa’s Ivan Glasenberg, announced in January the purchase of $ 534 million – € 495 million – of Dan Gertler’s shares in Katanga Mining and Mutanda Mining, which operate two major copper mines in the country. the Kolwezi region in south-eastern DRC.
Jammeh also referred
Yahya Jammeh has also been pinned on the US Treasury list. The former strongman of Banjul – who was forced under pressure from ECOWAS to leave on January 21 a power he had held with an iron fist since 1994 – has “a long history involving human rights abuses. ‘man and corruption’, justifies the US government document.
Particularly targeted, the “junglers”, militia in hand of Jammeh, composed partly of foreign mercenaries, are qualified “squad of assassination” by the American Treasury. Men responding only to the orders of the Gambian president who “threatened, terrorized, interrogated and killed the individuals considered by Jammeh as a threat”. The terrible intelligence services of the NIA – National Intelligence Agency – are also cited as a repressive instrument exclusively for the suppression of opponents of the regime.
The US Treasury accuses the former Gambian President of having set up during his reign a system of widespread corruption for his benefit, of “looting the coffers and siphoning the funds of the State”, until the last days of his stay at the Presidential Palace.
The booty is – indeed – impressive, as recalled already Jeune Afrique last June : 88 bank accounts, 14 companies, and more than 50 million dollars (45 million euros) taken in the coffers of the Central Bank …
A list of companies in which he has shares
Specifically, in the viewfinder of the US Treasury Department’s Bureau of Foreign Assets Control is a list of companies in which Jammeh has – or is suspected to have – shares: Africada Airways, Kanilai International Group, Kanilai Worni Family Farms Ltd, Royal Africa Capital Holding Ltd., Africada Financial Service & Bureau of Change Ltd., Africada Micro-Finance Ltd., Africada Insurance Company, Kora Media Corporation Ltd., Atlantic Pelican Company Ltd., Palm Grove Africa Dev’t Corp. Ltd., Patriot Insurance Brokers Co. Ltd., and Royal Africa Securities Brokerage Co. Ltd.
Exiled to Equatorial Guinea, Kanilai’s former master was greeted last January by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in a villa reserved for heads of state in Sipopo.
Last African concerned by sanctions, South Sudanese Benjamin Bol Mel (Bol Mel), president of the Thai-South Sudanese construction company ABMC and former president of the South Sudan Chamber of Commerce. Former close adviser to South Sudanese head of state Salva Kiir , Bol Mel is accused of taking advantage of his proximity to the Juba power to obtain preferential treatment in awarding contracts for road construction across the country. country.