U.S. Treasury targets Congolese police commissioner over violence against demonstrators

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday blacklisted a senior police official in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for his alleged role in acts of violence, abduction, and forced displacement of civilians.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) targeted General Celestin Kanyama, 55, provincial police commissioner with the Congolese National Police. Under Kanyama's leadership, police forces targeted civilian protestors with acts of violence to establish "a climate of fear" in 2013 and 2014, OFAC said.

And in January 2015, during Kanyama’s tenure as Kinshasa police commissioner, at least 20 people were fatally shot by security forces during demonstrations over proposed changes to electoral law thought to be aimed at allowing President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond his second term, OFAC said. 

"As President Kabila's constitutionally limited term nears its end in December, the regime has engaged in a pattern of repression, including the arrest of opposition members and violent suppression of political protests, all to avoid scheduling national elections," said John Smith, acting OFAC director.

As a result of OFAC's action, any assets belonging to Kanyama that are based in the United States or in the control of U.S. persons are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with him.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Designations


Specially Designated Nationals List Update

The following individual has been added to OFAC's SDN List:  

KANYAMA, Celestin (Latin: KANYAMA, Céléstin) (a.k.a. KANYAMA TSHISIKU, Celestin; a.k.a. KANYAMA, Celestin Cishiku); DOB 04 Oct 1960; POB Kananga, Democratic Republic of the Congo; nationality Congo, Democratic Republic of the; Gender Male; Passport OB0637580 issued 20 May 2014 expires 19 May 2019; Kinshasa Police Chief (individual) [DRCONGO].

Additional identifying information about Kanyama, provided by OFAC, is available here.