How US Sanctions Affect these African Nations

Sanctions against the Democratic Republic of Congo were introduced in 2006 and then extended several times. Like other countries, the US barred officials from entering its territory and froze assets and operations of officials and organisations linked to them. In 2007 the US imposed unilateral economic sanctions against Sudan. Thirty Sudanese companies have lost the opportunity to trade with America and receive funding from US banks. Their assets in the US were frozen. In 2011 the US imposed sanctions against then president Laurent Gbagbo, his wife and supporters because Washington did not like the cancellation of elections in some cities in that country. In February 2011 then President Barack Obama signed a decree imposing unilateral financial sanctions on then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his government and family members.  According to the decree all property and bank accounts belonging to Gaddafi, his government and four relatives were frozen. A ban was imposed on any banking operations with the government of Libya. In 2014 amid clashes between the government of South Sudan and the rebels, sanctions were imposed. The restrictions included the freezing of assets belonging to individuals and Americans were barred from engaging in financial transactions with them. Sanctions against Zimbabwean leaders were imposed in 2003.  Those in the list of targeted sanctions also had their assets frozen and they were barred from travelling to America. The US sanctions have been renewed annually since then. The US has maintained its theory that the sanctions are “targeted” at 141 entities and individuals in Zimbabwe. At the same time, the US administration claims that the sanctions apply only to representatives of the country’s leadership, a number of banks and enterprises. Washington maintains the sanctions are not directed against the people of Zimbabwe. In reality of the situation is that the sanctions are broad-based and are squeezing the heart of Zimbabwe’s economy — the financial services sector.


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