KINSHASA, CONGO —
U.S. authorities are placing sanctions on two high-ranking Congolese officials who are considered to be close to President Joseph Kabila.
The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control on Wednesday announced the sanctions against Gabriel Amisi Kumba and John Numbi.
The U.S. says both men have used violent force to suppress political opposition in recent years.
Human Rights Watch says Amisi has long been implicated in abuses, though the Congolese military cleared him of all charges two years ago. He is now in charge of security for the region that includes the capital, Kinshasa.
The United States has been stepping up pressure against Congo amid growing political turmoil in the vast, mineral-rich nation where elections now have been delayed until next year.