The United States has imposed economic sanctions on two Africans accused of using the illegal ivory trade to funnel weapons and money to Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Okut Lukwang, a Ugandan serving as an LRA intelligence officer, and Musa Hatari, a Sudanese merchant, are the two individuals who have been targeted by the sanctions.
According to the Americans, Lukwang acted as the LRA’s ivory broker using Kony’s hidden caches of elephant tusks to sell the contraband material in exchange for cash, ammunition and weapons.
He also pressured civilians into providing information on troop movements.
Hatari was responsible for supplying munitions, food and supplies to the LRA in addition to transporting the LRA’s ivory through shops in the Songo Market in the disputed Kafia Kingi region between Sudan and South Sudan.
Kony and his LRA organisation were blacklisted in 2016 by Washington after they were accused of targeting civilians in the Central African Republic, displacing populations and carrying out abductions.
“Treasury will continue to target armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army and their support networks that rely on the global ivory trade and wildlife trafficking to finance their violent campaigns,” who administers the Treasury Department’s sanctions office, said in a statement.
The sanctions means that financial institutions subject to US legal jurisdiction are generally prohibited from dealing with both people, freezing them out of much of the global financial system. Any US-based assets are also frozen.
The Ugandan and Sudanese authorities were instrumental in helping the Americans to implement the measures.