President Obama has issued an executive order authorizing sanctions against five people in the Central African Republican in connection with the country's sectarian conflict.
In a statement, the White House cited "[escalating] violence and human rights abuses," and noted that "[communities] that have lived together peacefully for generations are being torn apart along sectarian lines."
The president's executive order "imposes sanctions on five individuals – sending a powerful message that impunity will not be tolerated and that those who threaten the stability of the CAR will face consequences."
Reuters reports that the individuals include former CAR President Francois Bozize and four other men linked to violence and human rights abuses in the country.
"Also sanctioned were Nourredine Adam, a former minister of public security, and Levy Yakete, an 'anti-balaka' [anti-machete] Christian militia leader. Bozize, Adam and Yakete were blacklisted by the United Nations on Friday."
(The anti-balaka militia, "are a loosely organized ground made up of Christians and animists opposed to [Muslim] Seleka rule in Central African Republic," writes The Guardian.)
"The United States also sanctioned Michel Djotodia, former transitional president of the Central African Republic and leader of the Seleka rebellion, and Abdoulaye Miskine, leader of the Democratic Front of the Central African Republic People."
The sanctions come on the same day that French officials confirmed that 26-year-old photojournalist Camille Lepage had been killed while covering the conflict in CAR.
The French freelancer, whose work was published in major French newspapers as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, was found dead "by French peacekeepers inside a vehicle driven by Christian militia fighters, according to a French statement cited by AP.
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