Democratic Republic of Congo


28 July 2003 - Present
(almost 18 years)
Cease hostilities, Peace enforcement, Democracy support, Human rights
Sanction Types
  • Travel (individual travel ban)
  • Asset freeze (individual / entity)
  • Arms (arms imports embargo)

Territorial delimitation to North and South Kivu and Ituri, later extended to entire DRC.

Non-UN Sanctions
Regional (EU), Unilateral (US, UK)
Other Policy Instruments
Diplomacy, Legal tribunals, Peace operations, Threat of military force, Use of military force, DDR/SSR


Following years of protracted violence and extreme corruption under the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) experienced two wars (1996-1997; 1998-2003) involving at least six of its neighbors. Efforts to end the fighting resulted in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, signed by Angola, DRC, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe in 1999. The Security Council deployed the United Nations Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) to monitor and support the ceasefire under UNSCR 1258 (6 August 1999. The ceasefire did not hold and hostilities continued.

Laurent Desire Kabila, then President of the DRC, asked for further intervention by the Security Council. Following a fact-finding mission, in February 2000 the Council expressed serious concern at reports of illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth in the DRC in violation of its sovereignty.

The DRC case was preceded by a unique (in contrast to most sanctions regimes) three-year period, beginning in 2000, during which many aspects of targeted sanctions were present. These included a Panel of Experts on Natural Resources (PNR) established by a Security Council Presidential Statement that conducted research, identified names of individuals alleged to have participated in illegal exploitation of natural resources, and published reports. In 2002, their report listed more than 50 individuals. In effect, the naming, shaming and stigmatizing of these individuals were perceived by the targets as individual sanctions. The non-sanctions phase prepared political space for a true sanctions regime, beginning in 2003.


The analysis of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) case is divided into the following episodes (also navigable via the numbers in the top bar):