Obama signed an executive order Tuesday, targeting five former CAR officials, including Francois Bozize, former president of the CAR, and Michel Djotodia, the country's former transitional president, Xinhua reported.
The list included Noureddine Adam, a former minister of public security of the CAR, Abdoulaye Miskine, a leader of the Democratic Front of the Central African Republic People and Levi Yakite, an anti-Balaka political coordinator, according to the executive order, which freezes assets and bans travel for the sanctioned individuals.
Tuesday's action sends "a powerful message that impunity will not be tolerated and that those who threaten the stability of the CAR will face consequences", White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
"Growing attacks perpetrated by both Muslim and Christian militia have brought CAR to a crisis of disastrous proportions," Carney said.
The US urges all parties in CAR to end the violence, to ensure justice and accountability for perpetrators of human rights abuses, and to work together to forge a brighter and more prosperous future for all people in the country, Carney said.