US sanctions 5 over C. African Republic violence

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is ordering sanctions against five individuals for threatening stability and stoking sectarian violence in the Central African Republic.

Obama on Tuesday signed an executive order that sanctions three people already designated for sanctions by the United Nations, plus two additional individuals. The order also opens the door for the U.S. to sanction additional individuals in the future.

The White House says Obama has also declared a national emergency with respect to the situation in the Central African Republic.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the sanctions send a message that the U.S. won't tolerate impunity for those responsible for violence.

Central African Republic exploded into sectarian violence in December. Thousands of French and African peacekeepers are trying to help stabilize the country.

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