Since 2007 and the first complaint about President Denis Sassou Nguesso and his entourage’s ill-gotten gains in France, the Congoleses have been waiting for justice to pass. To date, still no trial, worse, no precautionary measures have been taken to such an extent that in 15 years, abuses and misappropriations have worsened: Real-estate purchases and embezzled money laundering to Canada, the United States, the emirates, etc.

By submitting on October 28th, 2022, the first Congo Brazzaville case of Magnitsky sanctions against Congolese officials, the Collectif Sassoufit aims to obtain the precautionary measures that the traditional courts have not brought to the Congolese people. We choose to submit global Magnitsky sanction because it allows administrative measures of seizure, freezing of assets and a ban on travel that will considerably reduce the capacity for harm of the individuals targeted and their listed entourages. Thanks to our counsel in consultation with a partner NGO, Sassoufit is furthering this struggle for justice.

The vast literature compiled for the submission speaks for itself: in the Republic of Congo state capture is total. Wealth grabbing fuels human rights abuses. The Republic of the Congo can be deemed a complete Kleptocracy. Its stands at the intersection of transnational criminal networks working for the advent of an undemocratic international system.

And lastly, as described in the submission, the Republic of the Congo and its people are unable to deal with the crimes of these individuals themselves. Its government is not democratically ruled, the judiciary is not independent, and the people are themselves threatened with death and torture if they dare challenge those in power. The use of the Global Magnitsky sanctions authority by US Treasury and State Department is one of the few tools available in the world to address these crimes, and it represents the world’s most powerful tool for shining light on evils that would otherwise live in the dark.

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