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US Imposes Sanctions on 7 in Congo Conflict

The United States has imposed economic sanctions against seven individuals accused of blocking peace and contributing to unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Bush Tuesday issued executive orders blocking the sale or transfer of any assets the individuals may have in the United States.

The best known of the seven men is probably General Laurent Nkunda, the leader of an eastern Congo militia group.

Also on the list are two other militia leaders, a weapons dealer, and three businessmen associated with the Great Lakes Business Company.

The United Nations and other bodies have accused the men of various crimes mostly related to arming militias or undermining peace efforts in Congo's volatile eastern region.

Congo's government has yet to re-establish control over all parts of the country, four years after the end of a devastating civil war that dragged in six neighboring countries.

A letter from Mr. Bush today noted the conflict has been marked by serious human rights violations that include the massacre of civilians, sexual violence against women, and the use of children as fighters.