In a bid to quell violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations Security Council imposed an arms embargo late Monday on two armed groups accused of rape and mass killings.
The decision came just before Rwanda, which has been accused of backing the rebels, temporarily joined the powerful council. The country has fervently denied involvement in the Congo crisis, but U.N. experts and human rights groups say its fingerprints are evident in the recent bloodshed.
The new sanctions target the M23 rebels, who are suspected of being funded and armed by Rwanda, and the FDLR, an armed Rwandan group linked to Hutu fighters who fled their homeland after its devastating genocide in 1994, during which hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and sympathetic Hutus were slain.
The Security Council also slapped a travel ban and financial freeze on the M23 president and one of its military commanders, expanding the list of rebels under targeted sanctions.