Latest sanctions target 2 militia leaders in Democratic Republic of Congo and Syrian army chief and defense minister
The UK on Monday announced new sanctions holding perpetrators of sexual violence in conflict to account, freezing the assets and banning those targeted from traveling to the UK.
“These latest sanctions target two militia leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for violating international humanitarian law by commanding groups to carry out acts of sexual violence.
“They also include the Syrian Army Chief and Minister of Defense who authorized sexual and gender-based violence, including systematic rape of civilians,” an official statement said.
Lord (Tariq) Ahmad, the UK premier’s special representative on preventing sexual violence in conflict, emphasized the urgent need to cease the use of sexual violence as a weapon in times of conflict and stressed the importance of supporting survivors who come forward.
He said the recent implementation of sanctions serves as a strong message to perpetrators that the United Kingdom will hold them accountable for their heinous crimes.
It is estimated that 20 to 30% of women and girls in conflict-affected areas endure sexual violence, the UK government said.
In the last year, the UK has sanctioned 15 individuals and entities who have committed specific human rights violations against women and girls, including 13 involved in crimes of sexual violence in conflict.