Two sons of Joseph Kony, head of the infamous Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa, were sanctioned Tuesday by Treasury Department officials for targeting civilians.
Treasury said it was freezing all assets of Salim or Ali Kony's that are within U.S. jurisdiction, and prohibits U.S. citizens from doing business with them.
"Today's action, which targets the finances of the LRA and its leaders while also combating their participation in the global illicit ivory trade, is the latest in a collaborative international effort to address the widespread violence in the Central African Republic," John Smith, acting director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said Tuesday afternoon.
The LRA uses the ivory trade to finance its operations, which have long included brutal attacks on civilians in several countries. For two decades, the group fought the government of Uganda, then shifted operations in 2006 into the Central African Republic, according to the State Department. Salim and Ali Kony, the targets of the new sanctions, coordinate the elephant poaching and ivory trade.
"OFAC remains committed to taking aggressive actions that will further diminish the capabilities of the LRA and its affiliates," Smith also said.
President Obama has made the destruction of the LRA a priority, sending 100 American troops — including special forces operators — to help the Ugandan government track down Kony.