December 17, 2021 (Washington, DC) – Today, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced sanctions on Central African militia leader Ali Darassa for serious human rights abuses, including killings, torture, rape, abductions, violence against children, and deadly attacks on camps of civilians displaced by war.
Investigations by The Sentry have detailed the widespread violent activities of militias and predatory foreign groups in CAR, including the Darassa-led Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC). An investigative report published this year by The Sentry revealed evidence that the UPC has been secretly funded by the Central African subsidiary of French food and beverage conglomerate Castel Group.
Nathalia Dukhan, Senior Investigator at The Sentry, said: “Today’s announcement by the United States imposing sanctions against Ali Darassa, a longtime brutal and predatory warlord involved in the killing of countless victims of the CAR crisis since 2008, is an encouraging step towards accountability and justice. To reinforce this critical action and create greater leverage for peace efforts, additional sanctions should now be considered targeting the covert financiers of mass violence such as the Castel Group subsidiaries that appear to have funded UPC leaders for six years to protect their sugar operations, as well as the Central African president’s inner circle, which carries responsibility for mass atrocities committed by national forces allied with the Kremlin’s shadow army in CAR, the Wagner Group.”
Read US Department of the Treasury press release: https://home.
Read The Sentry’s investigative report, “Cultivating Atrocities: French Sugar and Beverage Giant Castel Group Linked to the Funding of Brutal Militias in Central African Republic”: https://thesentry.
For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, gh@thesentry.
About The Sentry
The Sentry is an investigative and policy team that follows the dirty money connected to African war criminals and transnational war profiteers and seeks to shut those benefiting from violence out of the international financial system. By disrupting the cost-benefit calculations of those who hijack governments for self-enrichment, we seek to counter the main drivers of conflict and create new leverage for peace, human rights, and good governance. The Sentry is composed of financial investigators, international human rights lawyers, and regional experts, as well as former law enforcement agents, intelligence officers, policymakers, investigative journalists, and banking professionals. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is a strategic partner of the Clooney Foundation for Justice.