The United States of America has imposed financial sanctions on two militia leaders accused of fueling conflict in the Central African Republic, CAR.
The US Treasury said in a statement on Thursday that the sanctions against the two men – Abdoulaye Hissene and Maxime Mokom – who are from rival sides in the conflict, further demonstrates the country’s determination to tackle instability in the CAR.
According to the statement, any assets owned by the two individuals in the US will be frozen, while US citizens have been barred from doing business with them.
The CAR has been engulfed in ethnic and religious conflict since 2013.
Hissene is a chief of the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels and Mokom is a leader in the largely Christian anti-Balaka militia.
The US Treasury said both men were “specifically” identified as suspects in the failed coup against then-interim President Catherine Samba-Panza in 2015.
They are also accused of conspiring to disrupt a referendum held on a new constitution in the same year, the Treasury added.
Thousands have been killed and huge numbers of the population displaced during the four-year conflict.
Seleka briefly seized power in March 2013 after ousting then-President Francois Bozize, a Christian, but the group later handed power to a transitional government in 2015, as the country descended into religious and ethnic conflict.
Christians form the majority in CAR.
More than 12,000 United Nations peacekeepers are currently deployed in the country.